Australia will invest 160 million AUD (167.5 million USD) to help design and erect a new bridge spanning across one of two branches of the Mekong River at Cao Lanh in Dong Thap province.

It is part of the Central Mekong Delta Connectivity Project (CMDCP) over six years (2011-17).

Alongside Australia, the Republic of Korea, the Asian Development Bank and the Vietnamese Government will be major financing partners for the project.

This bridge aims to facilitate trade and economic growth in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam and link people and markets in the Mekong Delta to the rest of Southeast Asia and beyond.

Cao Lanh Bridge, which represents the largest single Australian aid activity in mainland Southeast Asia, is a cable-stayed bridge with two sides of cable and four lanes for vehicles and two lanes for cart vehicles.

The bridge will benefit five million people and is expected to deliver improved transport facilities to 170,000 daily road-users within five years of completion.

It will bring new economic opportunities to areas that are isolated from major population centres and improve locals' access to basic social and health services.

In addition, it will stimulate agricultural industries and facilitate private sector investment in the region.
Once finished, the bridge will be 2km long, six lanes wide and will sit 37.5 metres above the Mekong River.

The project comprises two high cable-stay bridges with a combined length of 5,000 metres as well as 25 kilometres of connecting roads.

The two bridges will replace slow and inefficient ferry services at the Cao Lanh crossing over the Tien (Anterior Mekong) River and a parallel crossing over the Hau (Posterior Mekong) River at Vam Cong.
Construction of the project is expected to begin this year.-VNA