Lao authorities express confidence that Route #3 from southern China to northern Thailand via Laos will be open for traffic by the end of 2007 as schedule. When completed, the Route will link China's Yunnan province to Thailand's Chiengrai province via Laos' Luangnamtha and Bokeo.
Construction of the 225-km route started in 2005. The highway will become what is called the North-South Corridor that officials hope will promote and increase trade among the three nations.
Part of this corridor is a bridge, yet to be built, over the Mekong linking the town of Xiengkhong on the Thai side to Houayxay on the Lao side. Thai authorities say they will soon discuss the funding of this bridge with Chinese officials.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details.