The contractor responsible for the Vientiane to Vang Vieng Expressway has confirmed the road will be open for use by 31 December this year.
According to a report by Vientiane Times, the Laos-China Joint Expressway Development Company Limited has rescheduled the launch of the expressway to 31 December.
Motorists flocked to Vang Vieng on the occasion of the country’s 45th National Day, a public holiday, expressing disappointment that the highly anticipated motorway had not yet been opened.
Netizens took to social media complaining that the public had not been informed in advance that the expressway opening would be delayed.
The original official launch was delayed due to the finalization of certain points along the expressway, including on-ramps and off-ramps, lighting, and final cleaning works.
The Vientiane to Vang Vieng expressway, linking the nation’s capital with the resort town of Vang Vieng, will stretch some 109 kilometers.
Chinese investors will operate the expressway under a 50-year concession agreement, valued at USD1.2 billion, with the Lao government holding a five percent stake.
The Vientiane-Vang Vieng expressway is the first section of the planned Vientiane-Boten expressway, which the Lao government and the Chinese developer, a state construction enterprise from Yunnan province, plan to jointly build to link Vientiane with the northern province of Luang Namtha, which borders China.