The Thai and Malaysian governments are in talks to construct two new bridges across Golok River, aimed at boosting cross-border trade, the Thai government's spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek has said.
At the Sadao checkpoint in Songkhla province, on the border with Malaysia. (Photo: BangkokPost)
The project is part of the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) economic development plan.
The two bridges will connect Sungai Kolok and Takbai districts in Narathiwat with Malaysia’s Kelantan state. The project was proposed by then Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, who is now acting Prime Minister.
The first bridge - Sungai Golok-Rantau Panjang Bridge - with six traffic lanes will be built parallel to the existing bridge in Sungai Kolok district, which is too narrow for large vehicles and cannot be expanded.
The second one will connect downtown Takbai of Narathiwat province with the Malaysian town of Pengkalan Kubor as part of an 11-kilometre road with 4-6 traffic lanes.
Ratchada said a Malaysian working group will arrive in Thailand in December to study the construction of a road from the new Sadao checkpoint in Songkhla province to the Bukit Kayu Hitam checkpoint in Malaysia’s Kedah state.
The Thai government expects the new bridges will help promote cross-border trade and tourism in the southern region and contribute to the sustainable economic growth of local communities in the border provinces of both countries./.