Cabinet approves B1.8 trillion in transport projects

Construction News

A train departs Taling Chan junction on the southern route on Sept 9. (Photo by Panumas Sanguanwong)

The cabinet on Tuesday approved a Transport Ministry action plan calling for construction of 1.8 trillion baht in infrastructure projects to jump start the economy.

The endorsement of the 20 projects puts into gear the government’s plans to improve the country’s transport network, Government House said.

It also clears the way for the ministry to take bids on the first six projects worth 186 billion baht as early as this year or no later than the first quarter of 2016.

The initial projects are the double-track railway from Jira station in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Muang district to Khon Kaen station; two motorways linking Map Ta Phut in Rayong province to Pattaya, Bang Pa-in in Ayutthaya province, and Nakhon Ratchasima; a new pier at Laem Chabang Port in Chon Buri province: a rail-freight depot at Laem Chabang; and the expansion of Suvarnabhumi airport.

Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said all six are ready for bids.

Next up would be bidding by 2017 for more 14 projects.

They are the double-track rail from Jira to Map Krabao in Saraburi province, Nakhon Pathom to Hua Hin, Lop Buri to Pak Nampho in Nakhon Sawan province, and Prachuap Khiri Khan to Chumphon.

Bidding for construction of the two medium-speed tracks with China from Nong Khai to Map Ta Phut, and Bangkok and three routes with Japan from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Hua Hin and Rayong will begin next year.

Five mass-transit lines in Bangkok also will be opened for bidding next year. They are the Orange Line from the Thailand Cultural Centre to Min Buri, the Pink route from Kae Rai to Min Buri, the Yellow Line from Lat Phrao to Samrong, the Red route from Bang Sue to Hua Mak and Hua Lamphong and the Purple Line from Tao Pun to Ratburana.

Another motorway will be opened for bidding from Bang Yai in Nonthaburi province to Kanchanaburi province.