The Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT) has completed a survey to pinpoint problems in the country’s expressway network to resolve country’s traffic woes. The study was handed over to the Transport Ministry before it goes to the committee overseeing regulations for the land transport system and then to the Cabinet.
Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said that the study found five types of problems with expressways, namely:
- Insufficient capacity
- Traffic flow at connecting roads and junctions
- Off-ramp congestion
- Bottlenecks at toll gates
- Traffic bottlenecks
He said the three routes that had the most problems were Sirat Expressway from Ngamwongwan-Phya Thai-Rama IX, Chalerm Maha Nakhon and Chalong Rat expressways.
The Transport Ministry was instructed in 2020 to come up with solutions for the country’s traffic problems as well as look into the option of constructing more expressways. The study is expected to be completed this year and presented to the Cabinet.
Meanwhile, Saksayam said EXAT has analysed the traffic problem and come up with the following 21 projects related to expressway networks, which will be divided into the first phase (2022-2026) covering 16 projects worth 38.13 billion baht and a second phase (2027 onwards) covering five projects worth 9.4 billion baht.
Eleven projects to boost travel efficiency, which will be divided into the first phase of five projects (2022-2026) and the second phase of six projects (2027 onwards).
EXAT is seeking funding for the projects and also studying them from the economic, engineering and environmental impact aspects.
Saksayam said he has ordered the Department of Highways and EXAT to work together on the projects, as well as accelerate the construction of the M7 expressway linking Srinakarin to Suvarnabhumi Airport.
He has also ordered the Department of Highways to study the M5 Rangsit-Bang Pa-In project and go ahead with preparing for a public-private partnership.