Troubled motorway project to resume later

Troubled motorway project to resume later

Wichian Chantaranothai, governor of Nakhon Ratchasima, has pledged to speed up the construction of an 84.6-billion-baht motorway linking Ayutthaya's Bang Pa-in district with his province.

The project is prone to delays, and Mr Wichian wants the project to be completed in 2022.

"We have to admit that the project delay affects the province," he told the media yesterday. "The province is being audited as the country's new destination for the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) industry.

"The delay of this important motorway will affect the travel time," the governor added.

A request for the use of forest land in the construction of the motorway was said to have already been submitted to the Royal Forest Department (RFD) earlier this year.

Mr Wichian said the RFD is expected to approve the land use request, adding the decision would allow construction work to resume later this year.

The funding for the motorway reportedly ran into obstacles as some sections are subject to design changes to avoid encroaching on protected land.

Some sections of the project cut through pristine forest areas in Nakhon Ratchasima. As a result, designs under 10 construction contracts are to be changed, such as Contract No.11, which contains plans that need to be changed for ecological reasons.

This motorway will be the country's third inter-city tollway. The project aims to alleviate severe traffic congestion along Highways 1 and 2, particularly during the long holidays.

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