The Rama VIII Bridge


August 6, 2000 - Bridge supports rising on
the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River.


October, 2000 - The pillars meet.
Note the longtail boat in front of the right pillar.


March 24, 2001 - The titanic pillar now towers over everything in sight.


Fast Facts
*An asymmetric bridge over the Chao Phraya River (i.e. this bridge will have one giant pillar on the Thonburi side with cables supporting a road structure that goes between the inverted-V of the pillar)
*To honor the Thai King HM Rama VIII
*Links Klong Bang Yikhan, Thon Buri with Bang Khunprom on the Bangkok side *On the Bangkok side, the bridge rises from Wisutkasat Road (also spelled Wisutthikasat or Wisut Kaset). It is a small soi by the Bank of Thailand.
*Appoved by the Thai cabinet on January 9, 1996.
*The project was initiated by His Majesty the King as part of the Royal Chaturathis project to address traffic problems in the Pinklao area.

*Section one of the project, which cost 392 million baht, starts at Arun Amarin intersection off Boromratchavhonanee Road and runs to Klong Bang Yikkan (this is part of the elevated road with leads out of town through the Pinklao area)
*Section two, which will cost 2.7 billion baht, includes the bridge and the associated connecting roads on wither side of the Chao Phraya River.

*from Buckland and Taylor site -> "The Design/Build contract was awarded to a Joint Venture headed by PPD Construction Co. Ltd. of Thailand, China State Construction Engineering Corporation and BBR Systems Ltd. of Switzerland with engineering services provided by Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick Ltd. (site inspection and geotechnical design) and Buckland & Taylor Ltd. (cable-stayed design). Buckland & Taylor Ltd.'s scope of work includes both the design of the cable-stayed bridge and the provision of construction engineering for its erection."
*The bridge will have a span of 300 meters over the river and a total length of 2.1 km.

Construction Schedule
Phase Task Completion
1 Construction of giant bridge support on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River May 27, 2001
2 Construction of elevated road to the edge of the river on the Thonburi side May 31, 2001
Beginning of factory construction of hanging road sections
Beginning of installation of the hanging sections
June 10-20, 2001
June 20-30, 2001
4 First cable installation to hanging road sections July 10-20, 2001
>5 Last cable installation December 10-20, 2001
6 Last concrete road section put in place December 20-31, 2001*

Rama VIII Bridge Latest News

New 20 baht note - May 4, 2003
The reverse of the new 20 baht note (right) features HM King Rama VIII and the bridge that memorializes his life...

Any zoning restrictions around the bridge?
Tall buildings banned near Rama VIII Bridge - Bangkok Post, April 24, 2003
The announcement took effect on April 4 and will last a year. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will upgrade it to an ordinance later to make the ban permanent, said city clerk Nathanon Thavisin. BTW: the article seems to be largely rewritten from this MCOT release.

Rama VIII Bridge officially opens
- September 20, 2002<
Right: Cover of the Bangkok Post ad insert on September 20 with various photos and info on the project.

Rama VIII Bridge will officially open September 20 - September 8, 2002
According to the Public Relations Department: The Rama VIII Bridge will be opened officially September 20, 2002, with HM The King presiding over the ceremony. September 20 is the birthday of King Rama VIII. The elevator to the top of the 160 meter bridge tower is presently being tested. The Bangkok Post adds on September 10: The road leading to Rama VIII bridge [Wisut Kasat road] will be partially closed for a week from Monday to allow tents and a stage to be set up for the bridge's official opening on Sept 20.... Between Sept 16-21, three of four lanes would be blocked to prepare for the inauguration, which will be presided over by His Majesty the King



The Rama VIII opened to traffic on May 7, 2002 - Walking day on the Rama VIII Bridge, May 6, 2002
May 8, 2002 - Wisarut Bholsithi reports: According to the radio (FM93.5) and Khaosod Daily (May 8, 2002), the official opening date for Rama VIII Bridge will be on September 20, 2002 (the birthday of King Anada Mahidol and King Chulalongkorn - which is also National Thai Youth Day). [The bridge was opened to traffic on May 7, 2002.]
Even though Rama VIII Bridge is open for traffic to relieve congestion during the back to school period (during the middle of May), it is not fully completed yet since the ramp at Bang Yeekhan (Thonburi) is not done. The installation of elevators to the Observation Tower (with a golden lotus decoration on the top and the anagram of King Anada Mahidol), the handicapped elevators in the 4 pillars with golden lotuses on top (on both sides of the bridge), and the 50-rai (20-acre) of public park at the foot of the bridge (Thonburi side) are not done yet.
The golden wrap on the cables is installed for safety reasons.

Rama VIII Bridge open all day for walking on May 6 - The Nation, 08:04, May 2, 2002
The Nation is reporting that the Rama VIII Bridge will be open from 6am to 10pm on Monday, May 6 (a national holiday) for pedestrians only.

The Rama VIII Bridge opens on May 7 - Bangkok Post, 07:57, April 30, 2002
Construction of an additional entrance and exit on Charansanitwong 40 road is under way. The bridge also has an observation tower, pedestrian cycle ways and lifts for the disabled. City clerk Kriengsak Lohachala said the city would organise a mini-marathon next Monday, May 6. He expects the event to draw 20,000 runners.

April 11, 2002
The Post is reporting that the handover will not occur until the end of April 2002 and The Nation is reporting (April 11, 2002) that the bridge will officially open on June 9, 2002.

The Rama VIII Bridge is 98% complete and will be handed over on April 12
....Additions like a 160-metre high scenic tower, an elevator for the disabled and an extra entrance and exit would be finished in about five months....The Office of the Commission for the Management of Land Traffic expects the new bridge to relieve 30% of the inbound traffic congestion and 28% of the outbound congestion on Pinklao bridge and 16% of the inbound traffic and 11% of outbound traffic on Sanghi bridge during rush hours....Rama VIII is an asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge with a single pylon. Its 300-metre span is the fifth longest in the world. The longest is the Flehe bridge in Dusseldorf, Germany, built in 1979 with a 368-metre span above the Rhine river. Mr Nimit said the Rama VIII bridge would emphasise Thai architectural aspects including lotus patterns on its handrailings and golden cables as well as local construction materials. The contractor had yet to decide on the colour of the bridge to match its golden cables, he said. (from The Bangkok Post, April 3, 2002, Rama VIII bridge could be in use for Songkran festival by Supoj Wancharoen, thanks to Don Entz for pointing this out.)

UPDATE: The Nation reports that the bridge is 95 percent complete. The Rama VIII Bridge is expected to be completed on March 28. Possible inauguration dates are April 31, June 9 and September 20. Governor Samak accused Bank of Thailand (BoT) officials for "failing to honour a promise that the bank would allow construction on certain parts of its compound so the access road would be wider." (from King may open new bridge, The Nation, February 19, 2002)

Matichon newspaper on June 7, 2001 reports "Rama VIII Bridge and the connecting road is 68% done and it will open on December 5, 2001 [this is HM The King's brithday--a national holiday and a typical day to open new projects]. Rama VIII Bridge will reduce the traffic volume at Pin Klao Bridge and Krung Thon Bridge by 8-30%."

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