Construction of city bus station delayed
Construction of the inner city bus station near the Morning Market in central Vientiane has run into delays due to a design revision.
Director of the State Bus Company Mr Khamphoun Temalat told Vientiane Times on Tuesday the project developer wanted to increase the height of the first floor of the 12-storey building, which serves as the bus station.
The new design of the US$37.5-million project aims to improve the operation of bus services and better meet the needs of passengers.
“So far the project is only 23 percent complete after work began in July 2015,” Mr Khamphoun said.
“In fact, we were supposed to finish construction of the first floor in December last year, but things were delayed due to a change in the project design.”
Under an agreement signed between the Vientiane authorities and the Chitchareun Construction Company in June last year, the project is scheduled for completion in December 2018.
Mr Khamphoun was unable to confirm whether the project would finish on time because of the delays encountered. If the company wanted to keep to the original schedule, it would have to rush ahead with construction to complete the building as planned, he said.
Construction was supposed to begin in January last year but there were delays due to problems related to the relocation of vendors and clearance of the site.
Located on the same site in Nongchan village, Chanthabouly district, the project includes a 12-storey building housing a shopping centre, offices for rent, stalls and parking areas designed to alleviate the parking crisis. There is also space for parked buses.
The project will cover an area of 7,632 square metres and has a concession period of 70 years that can be extended with government approval.
The project has two phases. The first phase includes the removal of barriers, provision of a temporary bus station, and creation of a detailed project design. The second phase comprises the actual construction.
The original city bus station was built several decades ago but outgrew the space provided as demand for services increased.
At present, more than 60 buses are registered at the bus station, including those running to Thailand.
These buses are currently using a temporary station set up nearby. Meanwhile traders owning stalls at the bus station have moved to spots near the temporary station, leading to traffic congestion in the area.
Vientiane has a population of about 850,000 people and the number of vehicles registered in the capital has soared to almost 700,000.
Many people park their vehicles on roadsides and pavements and it is hoped that when complete this new facility will offer some relief to the chronic parking problem.
By Somsack Pongkhao
(Latest Update January 12, 2017)