The Department of Highways (DOH) is pushing ahead with its plan to improve transportation infrastructure and connections between Bangkok and other provinces. To alleviate traffic congestion and shorten travel times, the DOH is seeking Cabinet approval for three major highway development projects totaling 102.6 billion baht.
DOH Deputy Director-General Piyapong Jiwattanakulpaisarn stated that the department is pushing for three major projects, the first of which is the M9 motorway project, which will cost 56.03 billion baht and will span from Bang Khun Tian to Bang Bua Thong. The second project is the M9 motorway connecting Bang Bua Thong to Bang Pa-in, with an estimated cost of 15.2 billion baht. The third project is an extension of the Uttaraphimuk elevated tollway (Don Mueang tollway) from Rangsit to Bang Pa-in, which is expected to cost 31.3 billion baht.
The deputy director-general disclosed that the first project has already gained approval from the public-private partnership (PPP) board and would soon be presented to the Cabinet for final approval. Once Cabinet approval is secured, the private sector would be invited to invest, likely between mid-2023 and the end of 2024. Construction is expected to begin in 2025 and is expected to take three years to complete, with the new motorways slated to be operational by 2029.
Regarding funding for the second project, the deputy director-general stated that the DOH will seek a loan from the Cabinet, which will be followed by financing negotiations with the Public Debt Management Office. Construction for this segment will commence in late 2025, and like the previous projects, will require approximately three years for completion.
As for the extension of the Uttaraphimuk elevated tollway, the deputy director-general said the project has been approved by the PPP board and will be proposed by the Department of Health to the Transport Ministry and the Cabinet. The DOH will fund civil construction through a 30-year concession agreement, with private entities overseeing the project.
The deputy director-general emphasized that the Motorway fund will cover system works and maintenance expenses, ensuring the long-term viability and sustainability of these newly developed motorways. These developments are set to further improve transportation infrastructure and bolster connectivity for the region’s continued growth and progress. (NNT)