Southern Thailand province begins construction of six more rubberised roads

July 31, 2017

rubberised-roadsSongkhla, a province in southern Thailand, has begun construction of six more rubberised asphalt roads, bringing the province’s total to eight.

Nipon Boonyamanee, chairman of the provincial organisation, said two rubber roads had just been completed in Chana district. Each is 8m wide with four lanes.They are the 1.85km Ban Khuan Meed-Khuan Chak road and the 1.5km Ban Khae Nua-Ban Tha Lor road.

Nipon said Songkhla was the first province to build rubber roads to increase domestic use of the commodity.

In 2015-16, it built one road each in Hat Yai and Khuan Niang districts. This year, it began construction of another six rubberised roads that are 1.5km to 2km long — two in Chana district which have just been completed and one each in Saba Yoi, Rattaphum, Na Mom and Thepa districts.

The cost of building or improving the road surface is 20% higher than that of asphalt roads, at Bt5 million per kilometre compared to Bt4 million of asphalt roads.

“The higher cost is associated with transport expenses as the roads are in remote areas. But it’s worthwhile since they last 5-7 years, not unlike asphalt roads, while rubber farmers also benefit,” Nipon said.

Rubber can be mixed with asphalt to surface roads with comparable durability and more flexibility. Each 1km of a rubber road of 8m wide and 5cm thick uses 2.5 tonnes of latex.

Rubberised asphalt roads are more durable due to high elasticity of rubber. They also reduce road noise and improve traction.

The protracted world rubber price slump this year has hurt rubber planters, prompting the government to order state agencies to use more of the commodity.

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(Last Updated: 16 Jul 2018)

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