The first public hearing in relation to a bridge linking Koh Samui to the Surat Thani mainland was held in Nakhon Si Thammarat yesterday, August 8. In total, hearings will be held in 3 areas potentially affected by the project. A second public hearing is being held today in Surat Thani, with a third planned for Koh Samui itself tomorrow.
The hearings are being conducted by the Expressway Authority of Thailand in relation to a 34-billion-baht project to build a 20-kilometre bridge between Samui and the mainland. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2028, according to a Bangkok Post report.
EXAT governor Surachet Laophulsuk says the locations for the public hearings were chosen as the bridge will link Samui to either the Don Sak district in Surat Thani, or the Khanom district of Nakhon Si Thammarat. The hearings will discuss the project’s suitability in terms of engineering, financial impact, and environmental impact.
Surachet says a bridge linking Koh Samui and the Don Sak district would offer the option of land transportation in addition to the air and ferry routes, currently the only options for reaching the island. He says the bridge would also reduce the time needed to attend to emergencies on the island.
Bangkok Airways, the owners of the Koh Samui Airport, have had a monopoly on flights onto the island, usually at highly inflated prices. As for the car ferry service, it is a slow trip to Samui or back and, at busy times, requiring a long, LONG wait,
Initially overseen by the Rural Roads Department, the Transport Ministry shifted the project to EXAT’s management in July, due to the latter having more technology resources and funds.
In total, the project is expected to cost around 34 billion baht, with 31.4 of that going into the construction itself and the rest used to acquire land. According to Surachet, an impact study begun in April of this year is expected to conclude in October 2025.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post