New motor ways to be Built all over Thailand. The Thai highway network spans over 70,000 kilometers across all regions of Thailand. These highways, however, are often dual carriageways with frequent U-turn lanes and intersections slowing down traffic. Coupled with the increase in the number of vehicles and the demand for limited-access motorways, the Thai Government issued a cabinet resolution in 1997 detailing the motorway construction master plan. Some upgraded sections of highway are being turned into “motorways”, while other motorways are being purpose-built.
Motorway master plan
Motorway Route 5 designates motorways heading north, which are the equivalent of Highway Route 1. According to the Intercity Motorways Office, Route 5 will stretch 755.6 kilometres (469.5 mi) towards Chiang Raipassing through Nakhon Sawan, Phitsanulok, and Lampang. There are plans to convert sections of an existing highway into this motorway route, but construction plans are still vague.
Motorway Route 6 designates motorways heading northeast, which is the equivalent of Highway Route 2. This route is supposed to stretch from the Outer Ring Road or motorway Route 9 towards Nong Khai totalling a distance of 535.5 kilometres (332.7 mi). This route is to pass Nakhon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen, and Udon Thani before reaching Nong Khai. Realistically, however, the section between the Outer Ring Road and Nakhon Ratchasima is under construction.
Motorway Route 7 designates motorways heading east, which is the equivalent of sections of Highway Route 3. This motorway has been recently extended by about 100 kilometres (62 mi) to reach Pattaya and the master plan indicates a desire to extend the route to Chantaburi via Rayong, 291.9 kilometres (181.4 mi) from Bangkok.
Motorway 8 designates motorways heading south, which is the equivalent of sections of Highway Route 3 and Highway Route 4. The master plan indicates that this route is to be extended from the Outer Ring Road towards Songkhla. It is also the longest route, totalling 951.4 kilometres (591.2 mi). Currently, due to heavy congestion on main highway towards the south, the plan to build a section of this motorway from the Outer Ring Road towards Cha-am in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province is steadily moving forward.
Motorway 81 designates motorways heading west, which is the equivalent of sections of Highway Route 4 and Highway Route 323. The master plan indicates that this route is supposed to stretch from the Outer Ring Road towards Kanchanaburi. Totalling a distance 96 kilometres (60 mi) and now under construction.
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