Wednesday, 6 June 2012

A bridge over troubled water?

Or a bridge too far?

Recently I stumbled over this drawing of a combined bridge and tunnel from the mainland in Donsak all the way up to Koh Samui with a bypass or stopover on Koh Tan, just in front of Samui's coast.

Great plans!

At this moment I don't know how old or serious these plans are and where they originate from. Apparent costs come at a price tag of 7,500 Million Thai Baht. The text at the bottom right of the picture gives the name of the architect and that he works for the Tessabaan, the local governmental authority. The upper left logo is also a Governmental logo.

If it will go ahead, let alone if it will be completed as designed, it 's almost as long as the Penang bridge in Malaysia which measures 13.5km and is the 4th longest bridge in Asia. It took 4 years from announcement to opening of that bridge.

The idea is great and would be a fantastic addition to the islands infrastructure but will most likely gain strong opposition from the ferry operators between Samui and the mainland and possibly also from Bangkok Air. All of them may be afraid of loss in traffic and revenue.
Once officially announced, environmental organisations will have their say although it looks the Gulf of Thailand in these are is shallow enough to build such a structure.

Besides the great idea of the bridge, making for easier connections to the mainland, the internal roads around Koh Samui will have to be upgraded to be able to deal with the potential increase in traffic on the already lethally dangerous and at times clogged roads around the island. Putting a tar layer on top of the old concrete roads will most likely not be enough.

An interesting project to keep an eye out on.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

8 comments:

Andreas Hörstemeier said...

I have some mixed feelings about such a big project, especially on its impact to the coast at Don Sak. Its not only that the coast there is a nice quite and still hardly developed beach, the nearest one to reach from Surat Thani city, and it is also home to some rare dolphins which will get disturbed a lot at least during the construction.

I know that the airport on Samui is a bottleneck, but from my only trip to the island I did not had the impression that the ferry transport has already reached its capacity and thus there is an urgent need for such a big project.

Camille said...

Hi Andreas,

You have some valid points. The aiprort seems to be at full capacity and the ferries are getting close to capacity.

The dolphins will most certainly have a problem if construction starts.

Personally I think it will take years before such a project will get off the ground.

Anonymous said...

I have checked out your archive and usually around 21st June to 6th July it's nice weather... Are you expecting therefore the weather to improve by this time? Seems a pretty poor month so far by previous June standards?

Many thanks

Camille said...

Hi,

For June standards it's indeed a bit unusual. As if this coming Friday, tomorrow the weather is supposed to improve.

There's a big storm moving through the whole South East Asian region, from the Cambodian coast on it's way to the Philippines.

james said...

i dont beleive this will ever happen and the ferries are not near capacityonly at peak times are they full
early mornings and last ferries of the nite

Camille said...

Hi James,

You're not the only one who is skeptic about this project!

Daniel said...

As far as I know, there will be no bridge to Koh Samui.

I don't even think that the Thai Government would like it.

look at the picture published again and think a little..

This picture are put together with a picture taken from the bridge between Sweden and Danmark ( http://thebesttraveldestinations.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Oresund-Bridge-between-Denmark-and-Sweden3.jpg)

Camille said...

Well spotted