The Transport Ministry is setting up plans for a multi-billion-baht third ring road for Bangkok and surrounding provinces, which will feature a canal in lieu of a traffic island to alleviate flooding.
Transport permanent secretary Supoj Saplom yesterday unveiled the six-lane, 280-kilometre-long ring road project that will cost an estimated 150 billion baht.
It will pass through Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Prakan and Bangkok.
The ministry will require 100 billion baht for land expropriation and road construction and 50 billion baht to build the canal, measuring about 200 metres wide and five to eight metres deep, Mr Supoj said.
The canal will absorb excess water from the Chao Phraya and Tha Chin rivers during heavy rain to alleviate flooding in provinces around Bangkok.
Mr Supoj said if the 150-billion-baht cost was considered too high, he could order the agency to cut unnecessary parts of the project to reduce the price tag. He cited a planned elevated section about 60 kilometres long south of Bangkok that might be unnecessary. Excluding that elevated portion could reduce the cost by about 6 billion baht.
The Transport Ministry will propose a detailed version of the project to the government in two months.
Mr Supoj also ordered the Highways Department to adjust its inter-city motorway projects to improve their contribution to logistics and water management.
He referred to five inter-city motorway projects with a combined distance of 707 kilometres and a combined cost of about 150 billion baht.
They will stretch from Bang Pa-in via Saraburi to Nakhon Ratchasima, from Bang Yai via Nakhon Pathom to Kanchanaburi, from Pattaya to Map Ta Phut, from Nakhon Pathom via Samut Songkhram to Cha-am, and from Bang Pa-in to Nakhon Sawan.