Thai Cabinet considers Chao Phraya tunnel to ease Bangkok traffic

Construction News

Thai Cabinet considers Chao Phraya tunnel to ease Bangkok traffic

The cabinet is going to consider building the first traffic tunnel under the Chao Phraya River in March in a bid to relieve traffic congestion in the Sathon and Silom areas, according to Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob.

In the proposal prepared by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan, the tunnel will run from Narathiwat Ratchanakharin Road in the central business district to Bang Krachao in Samut Prakan province while linking with the expressway system towards the Bang Na area.

The MLIT proposed the 8.7-kilometre long traffic tunnel be built either with four lanes for both inbound and outbound traffic or as a double deck.

The project is meant to provide an express route for motorists from Sathon, Silom, Bang Rak and Rama IV heading to the Bang Na area.

Construction will be financed by a Thailand Future Fund (TFFIF) bond issuance and the cabinet will decide the budget amount next month, Mr Saksayam said.

The Ministry of Transport previously had a plan to dig nine traffic tunnels across the city to relieve traffic congestion in Bangkok and its surrounding areas and asked the MLIT to study some of the projects.

The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning is studying whether construction of the tunnel will cause an impact on other infrastructure being built by private companies and how to minimise the impact.

Chayatan Phromsorn, the director-general of TFFIF, said that if the tunnel idea goes ahead, it would create a new route from the central business area to Bang Na and the expressway to Pattaya.