The 900-billion-baht Thai Bridge project, aimed at building a new route from the East to the South, is expected to be discussed soon by the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Policy Committee.

The project involves a link between Chonburi on the eastern coast to either Phetchaburi or Prachuap Khiri Khan  as a new cargo transport route across the Gulf of Thailand, a distance of around 90 kilometres.

The project has already won approval by the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA).  Although referred to as the ‘Thai Bridge Project’, the notion of the link being a tunnel rather than a bridge has also been raised.

The development of the Thai Bridge project along with the relaxation of inter-country transport regulations promises to open up new transport routes between East Asia and Asean.

Travelling or transporting cargo from southern China through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam to Thailand where passengers and goods will be delivered onward via the Thai Bridge route to either Phetchaburi or Prachuap Khiri Khan and then on to seaports in Ranong on the Andaman coast will bypass the Malacca Strait, which will lower the transport costs and greatly benefit investments in Thailand, said the minister.

The project is moving slowly because it involves investment by more than one country, said

Pailin Chuchottaworn, the chairman of the government’s committee on economic steering.  The CESA, confirmed previously that the Thai Bridge is one of the 30 large investment projects being accelerated.

Initially, at least 900 billion baht will be required to finance the project estimated to take 10 years to implement.  . An initial step would be to have the responsible agencies conduct a feasibility study to consider the environmental impact and to analyse an investment development model.