Overview of the Andaman Coastal Road
An impact study is set to be carried out for the proposed Andaman Coastal Road project that aims to link the Ranong and Satun provinces. This initiative is led by the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP). The intention behind this ambitious project is to provide improved access to tourist attractions across six provinces – Ranong, Phangnga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang, and Satun.
Key Features and Amenities
The 600-kilometer, two-lane road is designed to include several facilities and amenities to cater to the needs of travelers. Among these are planned recreation areas, parking spaces, and viewpoint stops. To promote eco-friendly transportation, a bicycle lane is also being considered for inclusion in the project.
Progress and Timeline
The Ranong-Satun road project was initially approved by the cabinet back in October 2021. Following this, the Transport Ministry tasked the OTP with conducting a feasibility study, encompassing project planning and an environmental impact assessment (EIA) study. A budget of 80.75 million baht has been set aside for this study, which is expected to take 18 months.
If the contract for the study is signed within this month, the feasibility study can commence in the following month and conclude by March 2025. During this period, the OTP plans to hold three public hearings to gather input and feedback from local citizens, administrators, and provincial chambers of commerce. The results of the study will then be submitted to the Transport Ministry for cabinet approval.
Agencies Involved in the Project
The primary agencies expected to manage the Andaman Coastal Road project are the Department of Highways and the Department of Rural Roads. The latter has prior experience working with the Transport Ministry on the Thailand Riviera project, which was proposed in 2022 to boost tourism in the Andaman region.
Potential Benefits for Tourism
By improving access to the tourist attractions in the six provinces, the Andaman Coastal Road project has the potential to significantly enhance the region’s tourism industry. The inclusion of amenities like recreation areas, parking, and viewpoint stops will provide added convenience for tourists and encourage more travel along the Andaman coast. Furthermore, the proposed bicycle lane can promote sustainable and eco-friendly transportation options, catering to environmentally conscious travelers.