Thailand: Greater Mekong Subregion Highway Expansion Project

Sovereign Project | 41682-013 Status: Approved

Summary

ADB is helping finance a highway expansion in Thailand to stimulate trade and economic growth in its border regions and neighboring countries that make up the Greater Mekong Subregion. The project will upgrade 178 kilometers of national highways to four lanes from two lanes. It will also help the Thailand government prepare an implementation plan for the Strategic Intercity Motorway Network.

Latest Project Documents

Consulting Notices

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Procurement Notices

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Procurement Documents


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Project Name Greater Mekong Subregion Highway Expansion Project
Project Number 41682-013
Country Thailand
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Loan 2608-THA: Greater Mekong Subregion Highway Expansion Project
Ordinary capital resources US$ 77.10 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Private sector development
Sector / Subsector

Transport - Road transport (non-urban)

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Some gender elements
Description

The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Highway Expansion Project upgrades 178 kilometers (km) of two-lane national highways to four-lane divided highway standard. Highway 12 from Phitsanulok to Lom Sak (105 km) is on the GMS East-West Economic Corridor; and Highway 359 from Phanom Sarakham to Sa Kaeo (73 km) is along the GMS Southern Economic Corridor.

The Project also assists the Department of Highways (DOH) under the Ministry of Transport (MOT) in preparing an implementation plan for the Strategic Intercity Motorway Network. This includes a detailed and coordinated implementation and financing plan for strategic intercity motorways along three corridors radiating out from Bangkok to a distance of 200-250 km, as well as a detailed analysis of financing alternatives.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

After 3 decades of rapid economic development, Thailand's growth has slowed. Strengthening competitiveness has become the centerpiece of Thailand's economic policy to reinvigorate growth. Deficient infrastructure is consistently cited as a major constraint on productivity growth. To address high logistics costs in the transport sector, the DOH is prioritizing five areas: (i) intercity motorways, (ii) Bangkok express ring roads, (iii) industrial ring roads, (iv) four-lane highway widening, and (v) roadway network connections to neighboring countries. ADB's strategy focuses on assisting the MOT in these five areas of road development. In the longer term, ADB can offer the most additionality by assisting the MOT in the development of the motorway network using public'private partnerships. However, planning for the motorway network is incomplete, whereas preparation for making critical sections of the highway network four lanes - which is essential in the short to medium term - is well advanced.

The economic corridor approach, which was adopted by GMS leaders and reaffirmed by the 15th GMS Ministerial Conference (June 2009, Cha-am, Thailand), aims to (i) generate more cross-border trade; (ii) extend the benefits of improved transport links to remote and landlocked locations in the GMS, which have been disadvantaged by their lack of integration with more prosperous and better-located neighboring areas; (iii) provide a spatial focus to GMS activities, with the backbone, growth centers, and nodal points serving as catalysts for the development of surrounding areas; (iv) open up many opportunities for investments from within and outside the GMS; and (v) enhance the impact of subregional activities through the clustering of projects. The adoption of this approach assumes that the underlying national networks are adequate and efficient, which has not been the case in most countries. Cross-border traffic constitutes a small portion of total road traffic in Thailand, but ongoing improvements in transport infrastructure could soon exhaust the capacity of already busy roads. Therefore, managing road network capacity in the GMS corridors is required to avoid defeating the purpose of transforming these corridors into full-fledged economic corridors.

Impact Increased competitiveness of local economy in the provinces along East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC) and Southern Economic Corridor (SEC) in Thailand
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome A more efficient and safer EWEC and SEC in Thailand
Progress Toward Outcome As of 31 July 2015, civil works for packages A, B, E, F, G and H have been completed. Taking-Over Certificate has been issued for these packages. Upgrading of the Phitsanulok-Lom Sak section (105 km) of NH12 will be completed in October 2015. Upgrading of the Phanom Sarakham-Sa Kaeo section (73 km) of NH359 has been completed.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. Upgrading of 105 km of highway along the EWEC and 73 km along the SEC to a four-lane divided highway standard.

2. Project management system operating

3. An implementation plan for the Strategic Intercity Motorway Network prepared

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

1. Civil works were completed except for Packages C and D. Construction is ongoing for Packages C and D and will be completed in October 2015.

2. The project management system has been completed.

3. Final report for the implementation plan for the strategic intercity motorway network has been submitted/completed.

Geographical Location Thailand
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement B
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects

The Project widens two sections of paved highways. Based on the requirements of the ADB's Environment Policy (2002), the Project has been classified as environmental category B (sensitive) because the alignment along Highway 12 (the Phitsanulok-Lom Sak section) traverses the Thung Salaeng Luang National Park and several sensitive watershed designations. The highway was constructed in 1960, while the national park was declared as such in 1975. The proposed highway expansion is restricted to areas within the existing 60-meter ROW of Highway 12. The park designation does not extend inside the ROW pursuant to the Royal Decree for Separation of Highway Right-of-Way from Thung Salaeng Luang National Park. Further, all portions of the ROW that encompass sensitive watersheds or are adjacent to the national park have been previously disturbed or developed through activities such as logging, agriculture, or roadway and commercial construction. As such, these areas are in a degraded condition with respect to ecological resources. The adjacent portions of the national park have also been previously degraded through similar activities, as noted for the ROW. Native habitats generally are absent within 50-60 meters of the ROW, and the most sensitive (core) habitat areas of the park are about 2 km or more south of the alignment. No protected areas, such as national parks, designated forests, or sensitive watersheds, are within or adjacent to Highway 359 (the Phanom Sarakham-Sa Kaeo section). The section is in an area of generally level terrain and is predominantly agricultural.

The predicted environmental impacts during construction include air pollution, mainly from dust emissions; noise and vibration; water pollution from fuel spills and improper waste disposal; soil erosion and siltation of water courses because of earthworks and extraction of borrow materials; and habitat loss from vegetation clearing. The Project is expected to improve the ecological condition within the ROW of the two highway sections. The Project includes extensive tree replanting (utilizing native species), landscaping, erosion control, slope stabilization, and water quality control. Wildlife crossings also are provided for road sections along Highway 12. These are either project design or mitigation measures, and include applicable monitoring programs to ensure proper function and identify necessary remedial measures. Impacts during the operations phase are expected to be limited mainly to air and noise pollution from vehicles. The proposed project design includes a number of monitoring efforts to identify site-specific locations where regulatory standards cannot be met. In those cases, additional mitigation measures are implemented, as appropriate.

An EMP has been prepared detailing mitigation and monitoring requirements, associated implementation responsibilities, schedules, preliminary costs, reporting frequency, and capacity building or training requirements. Timely and proper implementation of mitigation measures defined in the EMP will help ensure that the Project will not significantly harm the environment.

Involuntary Resettlement The highway right-of-ways (ROWs) has been acquired, and it was established and demarcated as early as the 1950s (Highway 12) and 2000 (Highway 359). The entire ROW of highways 12 and 359 are cleared of all obstructions. The census and detailed measurement surveys carried out in October and November 2008 in Highway 359 identified about 261 households. An additional 92 households were found during the census and detailed measurement survey in March 2009 in Highway 12. These households had stalls and/or shelters and tilling paddy land inside the ROW. The resettlement plan prepared for the Project was formulated in a way that recognizes that, while the ROWs of the two highways have been acquired, the affected people's livelihood can continue with minimal disruption and that their socioeconomic conditions are maintained, if not improved. The DOH assists by coordinating with the resettlement coordinating committee and Tambon Administration Office to find replacement land for stalls and shelters in a way that will allow for the gradual transfer of business operation to the new site, thereby avoiding any business disruption. Poor and vulnerable households are given priority in choosing stalls in the new sites. Consultation meetings were carried out during preparation of the resettlement plan, and key information was disclosed to the affected people before ADB appraisal. Implementation arrangements have been designed following a participatory approach, while a grievance mechanism and monitoring have been established to ensure compliance with the resettlement plan from updating to implementation.
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design Consultation meetings were held with project-affected people to discuss the impact of the Project on resettlement and environmental impacts. Meetings were held in all of the subdistricts within the project areas, and the results of these meetings were incorporated into the project resettlement plan, environmental impact assessment, and environmental management plan.
During Project Implementation

During project construction, consultation will continue during updating and implementation of the resettlement plan. A series of consultations with affected people will be held during the detailed measurement survey.

To minimize the risk of the highways dividing local communities by disrupting existing local road communications, the Department of Highways has already discussed with local communities construction of highway-crossing facilities including underpasses and overpasses. The need for and location of these facilities were confirmed during the detailed engineering design. Planning for community infrastructure was through local committees; membership of these committees will consist of representatives of the District Highway Office, project consultants, and representatives of the local communities. Local communities were consulted to determine the maximum distance between facilities to cross the highways - by either overpasses or underpasses - to avoid the disruption of livelihood and social networks and the existing local road system. Community consultations are facilitated by the construction supervision consultant's team.

Business Opportunities
Consulting Services The DOH selected an international consulting firm for the construction supervision consulting services using the quality- and cost-based selection procedures, in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2007, as amended from time to time).
Procurement In accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines (2007, as amended from time to time), the DOH selected 8 civil works contractors, of which five will be for Highway 12 (Phitsanulok-Lom Sak) and three for Highway 359 (Phanom Sarakham-Sa Kaeo).
Responsible ADB Officer Yasushi Tanaka
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Transport and Communications Division, SERD
Executing Agencies
Department of Highways
Mr. Wanchai Parluck
Department of Highways, Bangkok, Thailand
Timetable
Concept Clearance 05 Mar 2011
Fact Finding 28 Jul 2008 to 15 Aug 2008
MRM 24 Jul 2009
Approval 15 Dec 2009
Last Review Mission -
PDS Creation Date 14 Feb 2008
Last PDS Update 21 Sep 2015

Loan 2608-THA

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
15 Dec 2009 11 Jun 2010 02 Sep 2010 30 Jun 2015 31 Dec 2016 -
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 179.40 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 77.10 15 Dec 2009 69.98 0.00 91%
Counterpart 102.30 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 15 Dec 2009 66.53 0.00 86%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory - Satisfactory

Safeguard Documents

See also: Safeguards

Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

Title Document Type Document Date
GMS Highway Expansion Project - National Highway Route Nos. 12 and 359: Environmental Monitoring Report (April-June 2015) Environmental Monitoring Reports Sep 2015
GMS Highway Expansion Project - National Highway Route Nos. 12 and 359: Environmental Monitoring Report (January-March 2015) Environmental Monitoring Reports Sep 2015
GMS Highway Expansion Project - National Highway Routes No. 12 and No. 359: Environmental Monitoring Report (October-December 2014) Environmental Monitoring Reports Apr 2015
Greater Mekong Subregion Highway Expansion Project: National Highway Route No. 12 and No. 359: Environmental Monitoring Report (July-September 2014) Environmental Monitoring Reports Sep 2014
Greater Mekong Subregion Highway Expansion Project: National Highway Route No. 12 and No. 359: Environmental Monitoring Report (April-June 2014) Environmental Monitoring Reports Jun 2014
Greater Mekong Subregion Highway Expansion Project: National Highway Route No. 12 and No. 359: Environmental Monitoring Report (January-March 2014) Environmental Monitoring Reports Apr 2014
Greater Mekong Subregion Highway Expansion Project: National Highway Route No. 12 and No. 359: Environmental Monitoring Report (October-December 2013) Environmental Monitoring Reports Jan 2014
Greater Mekong Subregion Highway Expansion Project: National Highway Route No. 12 and No. 359: Environmental Monitoring Report (July-September 2013) Environmental Monitoring Reports Sep 2013
Greater Mekong Subregion Highway Expansion Project: Third Quarterly Report Social Monitoring Reports Sep 2013
Greater Mekong Subregion Highway Expansion Project: National Highway Route No. 12 and No. 359: Environmental Monitoring Report (April-June 2013) Environmental Monitoring Reports Jul 2013
Greater Mekong Subregion Highway Expansion Project: National Highway Route No. 12 and No. 359: Environmental Monitoring Report (January-March 2013) Environmental Monitoring Reports Jul 2013
Greater Mekong Subregion Highway Expansion Project: Monthly Progress Report No. 4 Social Monitoring Reports Apr 2012

Evaluation Documents

See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.

Related Publications

None currently available.


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