Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit has revealed that a portion of the highly anticipated M81 motorway will be accessible to drivers during the upcoming New Year holiday season. The M81 motorway, connecting Bang Yai district in Nonthaburi to Kanchanaburi province, is a crucial infrastructure project aimed at improving connectivity and easing traffic congestion.
During the period from December 28 to January 3, a 51-kilometre segment of the M81 will be open to motorists without any toll charges. This specific stretch runs from tambon Wangtaku in Nakhon Pathom’s Muang district to tambon Nongkhao in Kanchanaburi’s Tha Mue smooth and expedited travel experience for the public, particularly during the busy holiday season.
The decision to open this segment during the New Year period comes as a strategic move to alleviate traffic congestion on Highway 323, a vital road connecting Nakhon Pathom and Kanchanaburi. This route typically experiences heavy traffic during the holiday season, and the introduction of the M81 segment aims to provide a faster and more efficient alternative.
Transport Minister Suriya emphasized that this temporary opening is part of a larger plan to accelerate the completion of the motorway. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who was present at the announcement in Kanchanaburi, directed state agencies to expedite the construction of the remaining sections, with a full trial of the M81 anticipated next year. Commercial operation of the motorway is projected to commence around 2025.
The M81 project, also known as Motorway No 81, is a significant infrastructure initiative with an estimated cost of approximately US$61 billion. It forms part of a series of projects initiated by the government in 2016 to enhance the country’s overall infrastructure.
Upon completion, the M81 is expected to provide a more efficient route for west-bound motorists, offering an alternative to the existing highways 4, 323, and 338. This is anticipated to reduce travel time and fuel expenses for both personal and commercial vehicles.
In addition to the transportation benefits, the meeting in Kanchanaburi touched upon various developmental aspects, including land title distribution, water resource management, tourism promotion, agricultural development, and the potential establishment of a special economic zone in Kanchanaburi bordering Myanmar. These discussions underscore the holistic approach taken by the government to enhance the overall development and connectivity of the region. Travelers and stakeholders alike can anticipate positive changes in the transportation landscape with the progressive development of the M81 motorway.