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Exat expects early Cabinet nod for expressway in Phuket


The Expressway Authority of Thailand (Exat) is finalising details of an expressway project connecting Phuket’s Kathu and Patong subdistricts and hopes to propose to Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob within next week, Exat governor Surachet Laophulsuk said.

“The expressway will be 4km long and comprise a 1.85km- long tunnel, costing Bt14 billion,” he said.
“After the transport minister approves the details, he will propose them at the next Cabinet meeting which is scheduled for November 2-3 in Phuket. We will use this chance to invite ministers to visit the actual construction site.”
Surachet added that the expressway will run through three areas of national forest lands and a land earmarked for agricultural reform, but there should be no obstacle since Exat had already received permission from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Agricultural Land Reform Office.
“The construction should have minimal impact on the forest lands, while we hope that the project would be approved by the Cabinet before February 2021, then the bidding for contractors should start by mid-2021,” he said. “Construction should start by mid-2022 and will take approximately four years. The expressway should be open for public use in 2026.”
Exat estimates that in the first year of operation, the expressway will have traffic flow of 60,000 vehicles per day, half of them cars and the other half motorcycles. Proposed toll fees are: Bt15 for motorcycles, Bt40 for four-wheel vehicles, Bt85 for six- to 10-wheel vehicles, and Bt125 for vehicles with more than 10 wheels.
Meanwhile, a news source from Exat revealed that the authority would seek permission from the Commission for the Management of Land Traffic to start construction of the Northern Expressway in the N2 section on Kaset – Navamin Road right away, without waiting for the N1 section to be completed, to prevent the project from being delayed.
Kasetsart University is opposing the construction of the N1 section, which runs in front of the university, whereas the bidding for N2 section can start as soon as early next year.

Published : October 23, 2020

By : THE NATION