New road for border checkpoint

New road for border checkpoint

Thailand and Malaysia have agreed to build a new road connecting the Sadao border checkpoint in Songkhla to Bukit Kayu Hitam town in Malaysia’s Kedah state to boost ties between the two countries.

The Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre (SBPAC) deputy secretary-general Chonthun Sangpoom said on Thursday that the SBPAC and state agencies joined the second meeting of the Expert Working Group (EWG) between Thailand and Malaysia to discuss the transborder road on Tuesday.

Mr Chonthun led the group that was greeted by Muhammad Haizul Azreen bin Usol Ghafli, deputy undersecretary of Malaysia’s Ministry of Works.

The working groups focused on resolving pending issues in construction, such as the uneven width of the road connecting border checkpoints on both sides.

He said Thailand’s EWG had surveyed to redesign the road link according to Malaysia’s request. They confirmed construction could proceed — as directed in the agreement — without causing any effects on Thailand’s infrastructure.

The meeting agreed to four resolutions to implement construction. First, the cross-border route connecting towns will be six lanes wide, as agreed by the Thai and Malay prime ministers during a meeting in February, he said.

Secondly, the road covering 83.88 kilometres will have an equal width on both the Thai and Malay sides.

Thirdly, Thailand has to expand the road corners from 108 degrees to 129 degrees according to Malaysia’s road regulations. Lastly, both countries must endorse a speed limit of 50-60 km/hour before passing the borderline.

Both parties agreed to execute the project within 18 months and will proceed with technical work before holding a third meeting soon.