The cabinet has approved three new inter-city motorways with a combined distance of 324 kilometres to make travel faster and easier, especially to the Northeast.
The projects have an estimated cost of 160 billion baht.
The three routes will run from Bang Pa-in in Ayutthaya via Saraburi to Nakhon Ratchasima, a distance of 196 kilometres; from Bang Yai via Ban Pong to Kanchanaburi (96km) and from Pattaya to Map Ta Phut (32km).
Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the deputy government spokesman, said the Bang Pa-in-Nakhon Ratchasima route would relieve heavy congestion on the Mitrapharp Highway on weekends and holidays. The new motorway, to be completed in three years at a cost of 84.6 billion baht, would run parallel to the highway.
Tailbacks on the Mitrapharp Highway can stretch as far as 30 kilometres on the hilly section in Thap Kwang sub-district of Kaeng Khoi district in Saraburi, he said.
The Bang Yai-Ban Pong-Kanchanaburi motorway is aimed at improving links to the western region. Its cost is estimated at 55.6 billion baht and completion is expected in three years.
The Pattaya-Map Ta Phut motorway is designed to facilitate transport for industries and tourism in the East. Its cost is estimated at 20.2 billion baht and construction will take about 30 months.