Smooth ride: Thai highways unveil toll-free M81 weekend stretch

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post

The Department of Highways in Thailand announced the inauguration of a 50-kilometre segment of the new M81 motorway, connecting Nakhon Pathom and Kanchanaburi provinces, providing motorists with toll-free access over the weekends. This section will be accessible from 3pm on Fridays until 9pm on Sundays, with no specified end date for the offer.

However, all the other gates along the highway will remain closed. The introduction of this section is projected to halve the travel time from one hour to roughly 30 minutes, providing a significant reduction for motorists.

This motorway, labelled M81, expands from Bang Yai district in Nonthaburi province to Kanchanaburi, spanning a total distance of 96 kilometres. The route includes eight toll gates, a pertinent detail for those planning to travel along this highway, reported Bangkok Post.

In related news, the Thai Highways Department embarked upon a new project to construct a 6.5-kilometre-long six-lane road that will link Phutthamonthon Sai 4 Road with the Bang Yai-Kanchanaburi Motorway. The new roadway is expected to alleviate traffic congestion on the existing roads and foster urbanisation in the adjoining areas.

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The highway will extend through four districts in Nonthaburi and into Nakhon Pathom, according to Sarawut Songsivilai, the Director-General of the Department of Highways. The project is estimated to require a budget of around 6.12 billion baht.

The lion’s share of the budget, approximately 4.31 billion baht, is allocated for the construction of the road, while the remaining funds will cater to the expropriation of around 352 plots of land amounting to an area of 355 rai, said Sarawut.

“There are 347 plots in Bang Yai, Bang Kruai and Bang Bua Thong districts of Nonthaburi, while the other five plots are in the Buddha Monthon district of Nakhon Pathom. We will also need to expropriate about 71 houses.”

Having already completed a site survey as part of a feasibility study for the new access road, the department is ready to proceed with the next step. This involves submitting the project details and an environmental impact assessment (EIA) application, which is anticipated to be approved later this year

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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