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37 billion baht motorway planned – Had Yai to Malaysian border



PHOTO: Had Yai commercial district

The Thai government plans to build a 62km motorway in the southern province of Songkhla, from Had Yai to the Malaysian border in a bid to boost bilateral trade and cross-border tourism Estimates put the trade value in the region at around 500 billion baht per year according to the Transport Minister Arkham Termpitayapaisit.

The private sector will be invited to bid for the project, which is estimated to cost 37 billion baht, as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme, with the government providing land and other infrastructure.

Thai, Malaysian, Singaporean and Japanese builders and other investors have expressed interest in the planned motorway which will start at the southern city of Hat Yai heading south to the Sadao district bordering Malaysia.

The new route is expected to serve more than 20,000 vehicles per day and shorten the current 90-minute commute from Hat Yai to the Malaysian border to around 60 minutes while reducing traffic congestion on the Petchakasem Highway, the South’s only main highway towards the Thai-Malaysian border.

37 billion baht motorway planned - Had Yai to Malaysian border | News by Thaiger

Arkhom says the project will also boost a special economic zone near the border, facilitating bilateral trade via the Sadao customs checkpoint, which is worth around 325 billion baht a year, and via the Padang Bezar border checkpoint, worth another 150 billion baht per year.

In addition, a large number of Malaysian and Singaporean tourists cross the border into Thailand so the new motorway will serve as a faster route to Hat Yai, the South’s largest commercial and tourist city.

Private investors who win the bidding will be awarded a 30 year contract to build and operate the four-lane motorway with toll fees ranging from 10 to 88 baht per vehicle.

Arkhom said the Cabinet is expected to grant approval later this year and construction would start in 2019 with completion in three years.

37 billion baht motorway planned - Had Yai to Malaysian border | News by Thaiger

STORY: The Nation



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