Connect with us


Opinion: Road improvements to relieve Phuket’s traffic congestion

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Samak Luedwonghad, 48, is the director of the Phuket Highways Office, under the Department of Highways. Originally from Nakhon Sri Thammarat province, he graduated from Mahanakorn University of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He has been the director of the Phuket Highways Office since 2012.

Here, he talks about the ever-worsening traffic congestion on the island and how quick and efficient improvements to infrastructure can help to ease island-dwellers’ journeys and improve life on Phuket.

PHUKET: The number of tourists visiting Phuket and others moving here to work is steadily increasing. As a result, more and more vehicles are being driven on the island, which adds to the ever-worsening traffic congestion.

Improvements to Phuket’s infrastructure are therefore imperative, and the Department of Highways (DOH) must always be thinking ahead and working to solve the island’s traffic problems.

Phuket has about 370 kilometers of road: 200km of which belong to the DOH, about 120km belong to the Department of Rural Roads and 50km belong to local authorities.

Each year, we add an average of 4-5km of road. However, we much prefer to improve and develop the roads that we already have, rather than build new ones.

According to our research, if we do not upgrade Phuket’s infrastructure in the next five to 10 years, traffic congestion will become very serious at some of the island’s busiest locations, such as the Central Festival intersection, Samkong intersection by Tesco Lotus, Chalong Circle, Bang Ku intersection in Koh Kaew and the roads near Phuket International Airport.

As a result, the DOH has put a lot of energy and focus into improving Phuket’s roads, and budgets have been approved and awarded to carry out these improvements.

We have won approval for an underpass at Chalong Circle and Bang Ku Intersection, as well as a flyover at the Koh Kaew intersection, near the airport in Thalang and a new road that will provide a short cut from the T-junction near the airport to Pa Khlok.

We have seen a great decrease in traffic congestion at the new Darasamut Underpass near Central Festival Phuket since its completion earlier this year. We expect the underpass at the Samkong ntersection near Tesco Lotus will be finished by the end of this year and that it will also have a positive effect on congestion in that area.

We are now preparing to build the Chalong Circle and Bang Ku underpasses. The projects are now under auction, which means we are trying to find a contractor to take on the projects.

We expect they will break ground within three months. The other projects will begin once these are complete.

It often takes a long time to complete the projects, and often it seems as though things are not moving along very quickly. There are a few reasons for this.

For one, the geography of Phuket makes constructing and improving roads very difficult and it slows down the process. We must be very careful and precise during the construction phase to ensure that the roads are built safely and up to standard. This can also increase the price of the project.

The high price of land here is also a problem. The DOH has limited land on which to build infrastructure-related projects. Sometimes, it must expropriate land from private owners. This process is complicated and expensive, as many people – especially in Phuket – prefer to keep and use their land for their own benefit, rather than hand it over to the government. It takes time to negotiate with them.

It is important that everyone understands how necessary these roads and improvements are for Phuket, not only for smoother transportation for tourists and locals, but also to move the economy forward and improve overall lifestyle on the island.

Tourists will enjoy Phuket more if transportation were more convenient, and locals and expats can get where they need to go quicker, with more ease and less traffic.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused while these projects are undergoing construction. After the projects are complete, we hope that everyone is able to use the roads more efficiently.


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Economy47 mins ago

Bank of Thailand plans real-world test of digital currency in 2022

Hua Hin2 hours ago

Hua Hin calls for delay in reopening amid Covid-19 infections

Chiang Mai2 hours ago

Chiang Mai Covid-19 infections swell ahead of reopening

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Koh Samui3 hours ago

Thailand’s bars and beach parties remain strictly closed (cough)

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Covid-19 Sunday: Deaths fall to low of 56, provincial data

Tourism5 hours ago

Ministry of Foreign Affairs sings praises of Thailand Pass

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Covid-19 in prison: outbreaks from overcrowding now subsiding

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Covid-19 deaths receding, but still here; 1 month old baby dies

Crime22 hours ago

Van packed with 39 illegal burmese workers stopped in Phichit

Vietnam23 hours ago

Vietnam to test reopening starting with Phu Quoc Island

World1 day ago

Chinese law to limit homework and tutoring pressure on kids

Bangkok1 day ago

Thai man takes grandfather hostage in Bangkok standoff

Thailand1 day ago

Covid-19 forces 70 private schools out of business, 100 to follow

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Covid-19 clusters prompt lockdown in 3 Korat villages

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Thammasat University says vaccines slowed by government docs

Thailand1 month ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism8 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11