Koh Samui anticipates 34 billion baht mainland bridge by 2028

Picture courtesy of MGR Online.

Plans to establish a land link to the island of Koh Samui have been in the works for years but now the Express Authority of Thailand (EXAT) held their first public orientation hearing about the Samui Bridge. The blueprint for this project showcases a 20-kilometre bridge, slated for construction in 2028, to connect Koh Samui to the mainland.

EXAT chief Surachet Laophulsuk indicated that three regions potentially affected by this project have been earmarked for the orientation sessions. These include Nakhon Si Thammarat (Tuesday), Surat Thani (Wednesday), and Koh Samui (Thursday), as a prospective bridge to the island, whether through Surat Thani’s Don Sak district or Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Khanom district, is on the drawing board.

The aim of these hearings is to provide an open forum to critically evaluate facets of the project, encompassing elements of engineering, the financial aftermath, and crucially, the environmental impact.

Currently, the only routes to and from Koh Samui are by expensive flight with Bangkok Airways or often unreliable and smoke-belching ferry. The proposed bridge, cementing a connection between Samui and the mainland in the Don Sak district, proposes to offer another viable alternative, broadening options for overland transportation, reported Bangkok Post.

According to Surachet, there is more to the Samui Bridge than simply providing another mode of transportation. It is envisioned as an indispensable lifeline to expedite responses to public health crises on the island.

In the pipeline since July, the Samui bridge project was transferred from the Rural Roads Department to EXAT by the Transport Ministry. The Ministry cited the need for a division possessing more extensive technological resources and financial capacity.

Estimated to carry with it a price tag of a staggering 33.9 billion baht, the projected financial breakdown apportions the lion’s share of 31.4 billion baht for construction. The remaining funds are set aside for procuring land.

Surachet further disclosed plans for an in-depth impact study spanning two years starting in April that will conclude in October 2025 before breaking any ground on the Koh Samui Bridge.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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