The Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA) plans tobuild an elevated walkway linking its Purple Line-based Phra Nang Klao Bridge station with a new nearby pier to boosttransport connectivity.
The cabinet on March 15 approved a loan of 99 million baht for the MRTA to build the 100-metre walkway and Phra Nang Klao pier, said Wittaya Panmongkol, assistant governor of the MRTA.
The MRTA’s board will be asked to approve a proposal next month to hire Sino-Thai Engineering & Construction Plc, which is building the Purple Line, to develop it, he said.
The company knows the work well and could start right away, he said. Under the proposal, the firm will also be responsible for constructing the pier.
Once the board approves the proposal, the MRTA will hold talks with the firm to negotiate construction costs and sign contracts.
Work could start in May or June, and be completed by the middle of next year, according to Mr Wittaya. As the MRTA will draw on loan finance to build the walkway, it is important to seek revenue to repay the debt, he said.
Space along the walkway would be set aside for shops which could be charged rent, he added. The 26km Purple Line linking Bang Yai in Nonthaburi and Bang Sue in Bangkok is due to open in August this year.
The MRTA also plans to hire a boat operator to run the service at the new pier.
A study will be carried out to determine whether Chao Phraya Express Boat Co, which operates commuter boat services on the Chao Phraya River, could be quickly hired to run the service and the issue will be proposed to the MRTA board in May, Mr Wittaya said.
Charoenporn Charoentham, the managing director of Chao Phraya Express Boat Co, said the company is ready to run the boat service at the pier and invest in the operating system, including automatic ticketing and electric sign boards displaying the arrival time of boats.
If the MRTA allows the company to run the service, he said, the firm will seek the Marine Department’s approval to launch a new boat route consisting of Pak Kret, Phra Nang Klao and Rama VII. The boat service is expected to start this year, he said, adding it could handle 5,000 passengers per day.