Construction of Thailand’s widest bridge, spanning the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, is more than 72 per cent complete, the Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT) said on May 15.

The eight-lane route runs parallel to Rama IX Bridge and is scheduled to open next year.

Costing 6.63 billion baht ($191 million), the new bridge comes under the fourth contract for the expressway project covering Rama III, Dao Khanong and Western Outer Ring Road.

The project will facilitate travel between Bangkok and the west, EXAT said.

Construction of the 2km-long cable-stayed bridge is being undertaken by Ch Karnchang Plc.

The construction period is 39 months and scheduled to be completed next year, EXAT said.

The slope of the bridge will be less steep than Rama IX Bridge to facilitate traffic flow. It is also designed to withstand winds of up to 270km per hour, equivalent to a tornado, it added.

The bridge will connect the six-lane elevated road, Bang Khlo intersection and two expressways – Chalerm Mahanakorn and Si Rat.

EXAT said it was cooperating with related agencies to have the bridge named in honour of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

“Once the bridge is completed, it will become a new landmark in Bangkok and facilitate traffic flow across the Chao Phraya,” it added.