Exat to hold public hearings on highway connecting Samui to mainland
The Expressway Authority of Thailand (Exat) is studying 7 possible routes for a highway that will link resort island Koh Samui to the mainland of Surat Thani, a coastal province in the Gulf of Thailand.
The project is having the first public hearing on Monday when the authority will present the pros and cons of each route to residents of Don Sak, Khanom and Koh Samui districts, where the construction could be taking place.
The public hearing sessions will cover such topics as worthiness of investment and economic and environmental impacts, Exat governor Surachet Laophulsuk said.
He added that the highway will significantly help boost tourism and the transport of goods to Koh Samui, Thailand’s second largest island after Phuket. Currently the 236 sq.km. island can be reached only by air and sea.
Exat estimated that the construction could start in March 2025 after the public hearing sessions and environmental impact assessment are completed, the latter to be undertaken for the route selected.
The highway should be usable by the public in 2032, said Surachet.
The seven proposed routes have a distance ranging from 22 to 29 km. and will link either highway 4142 in Don Sak district or highway 4044 in Khanom district to different parts of highway 4170 in Koh Samui district.