The new Orange Line for the Bangkok Mass Transit System (MRT) is set to begin early July, as the BMTA and the local government has finally managed to seal the deal on the plans.
The first pile for the new line is set to be driven into Ramkhamhaeng Road, which will mark the official beginning of the construction of the new MRT Orange Line. When completed, the new line is expected to bridge the eastern side of Bangkok to the rest of the city, for those that stay in any hotel near Esplanade Mall located on Ratchadaphisek Rd near Ramkhamhaeng, this will be another option for travel. If the schedule for the project is followed, the new line is set to be operational by 2023, according to both the Bangkok local police force and the Orange Line’s contractors.
Deputy Chief of the Bangkok Metropolitan Police, Police Maj. Gen. Chiraphat Phumchit, has released a statement regarding the construction, saying that only the inner lanes of the sides of Ramkhamhaeng Road will be closed for the construction, which will begin near Ramkhamhaeng Soi 135 and 157. The Maj. Gen. added that traffic would not be affected too much, as two lanes on the road would still continue as usual, and that the day of the beginning of the construction, July 10, is a national holiday.
The first pile is part of the MRT Orange Line extension project, from the Thailand Culture Centre located at the Huai Khwang District, all the way to Min Buri. The piles for the construction are being set in preparation for full work, which starts November.
Chiraphat says that local police are considering whether or not to shut down the inbound lane of the elevated road near the site, which currently operates as a shortcut connecting Ramkhamhaeng Road to nearby Rama IX Road. If the police are to shut down this road, they say that it will be closed starting November, for at least 45 months, or 4 years.
The Orange Line will start near the Thailand Cultural Centre, near Ratchadapisek Road, which means that, for those staying in a hotel near Esplanade Mall, the new line will be fairly accessible.
The first 10 stations for the new extension will be built underground, whilst the remaining seven will be elevated.