Over 90 percent of the tendered bridge and tunnel projects of the China-Laos railway will be completed by the end of 2019, the construction company has said.
Li Bingxuan, general manager of the Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd. (LCRC), said on Wednesday during the China-Laos Railway Construction Working Conference that the construction of the key project under the Belt and Road Initiative is entering the critical and decisive phase in 2019.
The LCRC, the joint venture between China and Laos undertaking the railway's construction and future operation, will continue the work with high quality and efficiency, Li said.
Specifically, the railway's roadbed and bridge projects will be 95 percent complete, while the tunnel projects will be 90 percent complete at the end of 2019, said Li, adding that the building of the base for track laying and railway stations will be started soon.
According to Li, in 2018, the construction of the key and difficult projects and the bottleneck projects of the railway went steadily and smoothly. By the end of 2018, the accumulated investment of the railway had reached 11.8 billion yuan (around 1.7 billion U.S. dollars), accounting for 31.5 percent of the total.
The China-Laos railway was promoted by leaders of the two countries as an interconnectivity project under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative. The construction of the railway began in December 2016, and the railway is expected to open to traffic in December, 2021.
The China-Laos railway has a length 414 km with bridges of 62 km and tunnels of 198 km, linking Mohan-Boten border gate in northern Laos and capital Vientiane. The operating speed on the route is designed at 160 km per hour.