Controversial Lumpini tollgate opens on Thursday


Tollgate at the foot of mega One Bangkok project sparked questions if it had been built especially to benefit huge mixed-use property on Rama IV Road

The new, controversial tollgate of the Chalerm Maha Nakhon Expressway in Bangkok’s Pathum Wan district is open for operation from Thursday.

The Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT) said the new expressway gate and exit will provide a shortcut linking the Chalerm Maha Nakhon Expressway to Wireless Road and significantly reduce congestion at the Rama IV gate.

The new entrance, Lumpini, has four toll gates – two for cash payment and two for auto payment. Four-wheel vehicles will be charged a toll fee of 50 baht, while six to 10-wheelers will pay 75 baht and vehicles with more than 10 wheels will be charged 110 baht.

Motorists from Wireless Road can enter Soi Polo to access the Lumpini gate, while motorists on Rama IV Road can turn left into Soi Plukchit to enter the new gate instead of driving ahead to use the more congested Rama IV gate.

Those heading into town from Bang Na can exit at the new Lumpini gate and drive past Soi Polo to get to Wireless Road.

The new gate is close to the One Bangkok mixed-use mega property project on Rama IV Road and not too far from the existing Rama IV gate.

When the gate was being built in February, many social networkers asked if the gate was being built to benefit One Bangkok.

On February 8, EXAT issued a statement saying that the new gate had been approved on October 16, 2017, by an EXAT sub-committee in charge of improving the expressway network, to reduce congestion at the Rama IV gate during rush hour.

EXAT said it has studied and found that the new gate would improve traffic flow on the main roads in the area, so it gave the new gate its stamp of approval.

It also admitted that it did not have to pay for the construction of the new entrance or exit. The gate was being built on land owned by the Crown Property Bureau and the contractor building One Bangkok covered the costs.