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Highways Department Propels Koh Samui Bridge Project Forward

The Department of Highways, Thailand, has announced plans to convene for the second public hearing session regarding the Special Expressway Project linking Koh Samui in June of 2024. This initiative builds upon years of discourse surrounding the idea of a bridge to Koh Samui, a concept born out of the island’s burgeoning significance as a tourist hotspot and economic center. As reported through the online platform of the Daily News, the project aims to address the island’s connectivity challenges and further boost its economic potential.

The upcoming session follows an initial meeting that introduced the project and subsequent subgroup discussions across ten local groups in Khanom District, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province; Don Sak District; and Koh Samui District, Surat Thani Province. The primary focus now shifts to expediting the comparative analysis and selection of the most suitable route, a process necessitated by the multifaceted considerations involved.

Among the proposed solutions are plans for a bridge, which have been part of various infrastructure proposals aimed at enhancing transportation networks in the region. Proponents argue that a bridge would not only reduce travel time but also provide a more reliable transportation option, especially during adverse weather conditions when ferry services might be disrupted. However, concerns about the environmental impact of such a project have been raised, particularly regarding its potential effects on the marine ecosystem and coastal areas. Environmental assessments and studies are crucial steps in evaluating the feasibility of the bridge project, ensuring that any development is sustainable and minimizes adverse effects on the surrounding environment.

The selection process involves considering seven potential routes, each differing in distance and investment, ranging from approximately 22 to 29 kilometers and an investment estimate between 25,000 to 50,000 million baht. These routes are distributed across Don Sak and Khanom districts, and the criteria for selection encompass engineering and traffic, economic and investment considerations, and environmental impacts, totaling 150 points.

The study on the project’s suitability is expected to conclude around March 2068. Upon completion, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report will be submitted for review by relevant authorities, including the Expert Committee for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the National Environmental Board (NEB). This process precedes presenting the findings to the Cabinet (CC) for approval. Construction is anticipated to commence in the year 2071, with services projected to begin by the end of 2075.

In summary, while the concept of a bridge to Koh Samui has been part of various infrastructure plans and discussions, its realization requires meticulous consideration of technical, environmental, and economic factors. Public consultations, environmental impact assessments, and feasibility studies are essential components in determining the viability and potential implementation of such a significant infrastructure endeavor.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staffhttps://locality.guide
Provider of news and content to Heaven is Hua Hin

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