An impact study will be carried out on a proposed Andaman coastal road project linking Ranong and Satun provinces, according to the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP).
The two-lane road covering 600 kilometres is expected to improve tourists’ access to attractions in six provinces — Ranong, Phangnga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang and Satun, said Punya Chupanit, the OTP director.
Recreation areas, parking, viewpoint stops and possibly a bicycle lane will be included in the project. The office is now looking for a consultant to conduct the study, he said.
The Ranong-Satun road was approved by the cabinet in October 2021 and the Transport Ministry assigned the OTP to carry out a feasibility study, including project planning and the environmental impact assessment (EIA) study.
A budget of 80.75 million baht was set aside for the feasibility study, which will take 18 months, Mr Punya said.
If the contract can be signed this month, the feasibility study can get under way next month and be completed by March 2025.
He said the OTP will hold three public hearings to which citizens, local administrators and provincial chambers of commerce are expected to be invited.
The office will submit the study results to the Transport Ministry for cabinet approval.
The Department of Highways and the Department of Rural Roads are the main agencies expected to manage the project. The Department of Rural Roads has experience with the Transport Ministry’s Thailand Riviera project, proposed in 2022 to boost tourism in the Andaman region, Mr Punya said.