The Department of Highways, Department of Rural Roads and the Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT) under the Ministry of Transport signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on 19 road projects, beginning with five construction projects totaling B233.7 billion, reports state news agency NNT.
Funding for the projects will be raised through the Thailand Future Fund, while models for generating income through commercial space leasing will be adopted from abroad, the report added.
The first project under their cooperation will be the 30km motorway construction project from Muang Mai to Kathu in Phuket. The project was initially studied and designed by the Department of Highways to develop a motorway between Muang Mai and Koh Kaew.
Under the new plan, EXAT will take over the project with plans to extend the highway to reach Kathu and Patong (via the “Patong Tunnel” project). The project is expected to cost around B30.4bn.
Another project under the new system is the Highway No 305 project (Pathum Thani-Rangsit-Ongkharak), initiated by the Department of Highways. EXAT will also take over the project, with plans to merge the highway with the Udon Ratthaya-Pathum Thani expressway network, said the report.
Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said the new management system formed by these departments will reduce overlapping work and improve the speed and efficiency of construction projects, the report concluded.