The Royal Development Projects concerning transportation, communication, and technology involve the improvement of roads in the rural and underdeveloped areas to support convenient travelling and transport of products to sell outside the community. The first Royal Development Project concerning transportation was the project to construct a road leading to Huai Mongkol Villlage in Hin Lek Fai Subdistrict (presently Thap Tai Subdistrict) of Prachuap Khiri Khan Province. To date, the latest Royal Development Project on transportation, the Rama VIII Bridge, which was graciously initiated by His Majesty as a means for solving the traffic congestion problem affecting the people living in Bangkok, has benefited the whole nation both in social and economical aspects. This is reflected in an excerpt from His Majesty the King’s speech granted on March 22, 1993:
“…For traffic, the most important tool is the road. There should be suitable roads with proper traffic control equipment and regulations. This does not concern legal aspects, or political science. It is not the responsibility of the police or the court. But it concerns engineering. The engineering should be improved. That means roads must be well constructed and harmonious. This is the hardest homework because Bangkok had been built for 200 years, but still without a serious urban planning. In fact, although there is already a formal plan, it is not really practical. That is because we are Thais. Thai, as self-explanatory, means independent and not subject to control. We would build whatever we want to build. If we want to build right now, we will go ahead with it. This will then block other people, that is, block the other ways and cannot be remedied.. .”
The Rama VIII Bridge Project
The Rama VIII Bridge Project is one of the Four-directions Project initiated by His Majesty the King. In 1995, His Majesty recommended that one additional bridge be constructed across the Chao Phraya River from the Bang Yee Khan Distillery to Visutkasat Road, near the Bank of Thailand. The bridge was royally named the “Rama VIII Bridge” in memory of King Ananda Mahidol, the Eighth King of the Royal House of Chakri. The bridge construction well mirrors His Majesty’s concern towards the traffic congestion problems on the Somdej Phra Pinklao Bridge that will increasingly provoke more difficulty on traffic congestion in the future. Moreover, the project also completed the missing linkage between Phra Nakhon side and Thon Buri side where traffic congestion prevailed. It benefits the eastern part of Bangkok, particularly inner Bangkok around Rajdamnern Klang Avenue which links with Thon Buri side via the Somdej Phra Pinklao Bridge and Charansanitwong Road, another main route of Thon Buri side with traffic congestion problem.