Part of M81 motorway from Nakhon Pathom to Kanchanaburi to open over New Year holiday period
A section of a new motorway that will link Nonthaburi’s Bang Yai district with Kanchanaburi province will be opened to motorists over the New Year holiday period, says Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit.
He accompanied Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to Kanchanaburi on Saturday, where they met officials to discuss development in the province.
Between Dec 28 and Jan 3, authorities will allow motorists to travel free-of-charge along a 51-kilometre section of the M81, from tambon Wangtaku in Nakhon Pathom’s Muang district to tambon Nongkhao in Kanchanaburi’s Tha Muang district.
The decision was made to help ease traffic congestion along Highway 323, the main road linking Nakhon Pathom and Kanchanaburi, which is routinely congested over the holiday period, and provide a faster route for trucks heading from Bangkok to the west, he said.
Mr Suriya said the prime minister has instructed state agencies to expedite construction on the unfinished sections, so the M81 can be fully opened for a trial period next year. The motorway will begin commercial operation some time in 2025.
The M81, short for Motorway No 81, will cost about 61 billion baht. It is among the projects which the government decided to fast-track back in 2016 to improve the nation’s infrastructure.
Once the highway is fully opened, motorists heading to the west will be able to take the M81, instead of going along highways 4, 323 and 338, cutting travel time and fuel costs.
Other issues raised at Saturday’s meeting were land title distribution, water resource management, ramping up tourism promotions and agricultural development, and the possibility of creating a special economic zone in Kanchanaburi, which lies on the border with Myanmar.
The province can be a key logistic node in the Central-Western Economic Corridor (CWEC) linking Bangkok and Chon Buri to Dawei in Myanmar, he added.