The Department of Highways (DOH) has revealed an ambitious 20-year plan to enhance Thailand’s interprovincial network by constructing new motorways across the country. The plan aims to create a modern and efficient transportation system, fostering regional connectivity and bolstering economic growth.
During a press conference held at Bangkok’s Eastin Grand Hotel, DOH Deputy Director-General, Piyapong Jiwattanakulpaisarn, unveiled the department’s long-term strategy. The DOH has engaged contracted companies to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study for updates to the Motorway-Rail Map (MR Map) project. This study seeks to explore potential developments for future highways and transportation and is expected to be presented to the Ministry of Transport by the end of the year for consideration.
The MR Map, first proposed in 1997 and last updated in 2016, aims to transform Thailand into a regional transportation and logistics hub. Through careful planning and execution, the goal is to optimize the country’s potential as a vital hub for trade and commerce within the region.
The initial phase of the upgrade plan covers the first five years of the 20-year timeline and includes nine projects with a total budget of 457 billion baht. These projects will involve the construction of 331 kilometers of new highways by the government. The estimated cost for projects in the first phase is 413.2 billion baht, while those in the latter phase are valued at 775.9 billion baht.
The execution and oversight of the MR Map projects will be carried out by various agencies under the Ministry of Transport, including the Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT), the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), and the DOH. This collaborative effort aims to ensure seamless integration and efficiency in the implementation of the ambitious highway network expansion.
The 20-year plan by the DOH signifies the Thai government’s commitment to upgrading and expanding the country’s infrastructure, providing the citizens with improved connectivity and accessibility. If successful, this initiative will pave the way for Thailand to establish itself as a pivotal player in regional transportation and a driving force behind economic growth.