Govt streamlines its plans for new roads

Govt streamlines its plans for new roads

Three organisations under the Ministry of Transport have signed an agreement to bring their implementation of planned road construction projects under a single management system, starting with five projects worth a total of 233.7 billion baht.

These five projects are the first batch of a group of 19 projects that the Department of Highways (DH), Department of Rural Roads (DRR), and Expressway Authority of Thailand (Exat) deemed suitable for the proposal outlined in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed on Monday, said Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob yesterday.

The cooperation is a novel approach designed to reduce overlap in order to improve efficiency and speeds of the work, he said.

The first project to be managed under the new system will be the construction a motorway stretching 30 kilometres from Muang Mai to Kathu in Phuket at a cost of 30.4 billion baht, he said.

Initially studied and designed by the DH to run between Muang Mai and Koh Kaeo, the new plan will see Exat take over the project and extend the new highway to reach Kathu and Patong.

The second in the batch is a new 20km elevated highway called Highway No.305 (Pathum Thani-Rangsit-Ongkharak) that requires 38.5 billion baht in funding, he said.

Initiated by the DH, this project is also to be taken over by Exat which will merge it with the Udon Ratthaya-Pathum Thani expressway network, he said.

The third is a plan to construct an 18km elevated motorway connecting Srinakarin Road with Suvarnabhumi airport, he said, adding that this 18km road requires 43.1 billion baht of funding.

Studied and designed by the DH, the project will also be taken over by Exat as will a 96.6-billion-baht network of river flyovers and roads to connect Samut Sakhon with Samut Prakan, he said.

Initiated by the DRR, this transport network has a combined length of 72km, he said.

The last of the initial batch will be a bridge to connect Koh Samui in Surat Thani with Khanom district in Nakhon Si Thammarat at a cost of 25 billion baht, he said, adding that the implementation of this 17km bridge will, all the same, be taken over by Exat with the aim of pursuing public-private partnership investment.

Funds to finance these projects will also be raised through the Thailand Future Fund, while models for generating income through leasing out commercial spaces will be adopted from abroad, he said.

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