(CTN News) – In a groundbreaking announcement on Monday, Thailand’s Department of Highways (DoH) revealed a visionary 20-year plan to develop the nation’s interprovincial motorway network.
The ambitious blueprint entails the construction of 1,926 kilometers of new highways across the country, transforming Thailand into a pivotal regional transport and logistics hub.
Prepared by esteemed firms such as International Engineering Consultants Co Ltd, TEAM Consulting Engineering and Management Public Co Ltd, and PSK Consultants Co Ltd, the pre-feasibility study for the updated Motorway-Rail Map (MR Map) project will be presented to the Transport Ministry by the end of the year. Upon ministry approval, the proposal will advance to the cabinet for further endorsement.
The MR Map, initially proposed in 1997 and last updated in 2016, will undergo significant improvements in its latest revision. It envisions highways and other vital public transport lines connecting Thailand with neighboring countries, fostering regional connectivity.
Transforming Thailand into a Regional Transport and Logistics Hub
The first phase of the 20-year plan, set to be executed within the initial five years, comprises nine projects amounting to a budget of 457 billion baht. This phase will witness the construction of 331 kilometers of new government-funded highways.
The notable projects in this phase include extending the Uttaraphimuk Elevated Highway (Don Muang Tollway) from Rangsit to Bang Pa-in, elongating the Bang Khun Thian-Bang Bua Thong Motorway, expanding the Bang Bua Thong-Bang Pa-in Motorway, and constructing a bypass route linking the western and eastern rings of Kanchanaphisek Road.
Furthermore, upgrades to the Chatuchote Expressway, the Eastern side of the 3rd Outer Ring Road, and the Chumphon-Ranong highway are also on the agenda.
The nine projects of the first phase are valued at 413.2 billion baht, while the subsequent projects in the plan hold an estimated worth of 775.9 billion baht.
To ensure successful implementation, the MR Map projects will be supervised by key agencies under the Transport Ministry, including the Expressway Authority of Thailand, the State Railway of Thailand, and the Department of Highways.
With this visionary 20-year plan, Thailand takes a significant step forward in its mission to create a state-of-the-art interprovincial motorway network, reinforcing its position as a thriving regional transport and logistics hub.