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Chalong Circle to be removed?

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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CHALONG: Motorists in the southern end of the island may soon be missing their favorite landmark as the provincial highways office is considering removing Chalong Circle and installing traffic lights at the five-way junction.

Saroj Suwinchai, director of the provincial office of the Highways Department, told the Gazette that the idea behind the proposal is to relieve traffic congestion at the junction.

“Our plan is to remove the roundabout and install traffic lights on the four main roads at the junction that lead to Kata-Karon [Patak Rd], to the bypass road [Chao Fa East Rd], to Phuket City [Chao Fa West Rd] and to Rawai [Wiset Rd].

“Vehicles entering the junction from Chalong Pier will be forced to turn left onto Wiset Rd. They must do a U-turn and come back and wait at the lights to enter the junction again,” he said.

However, before the plan can go ahead, agreement must be reached with the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) on what is to be done with the fountain that sits in the middle of the roundabout.

“I have discussed the idea with the OrBorJor officer who is responsible for the fountain. Although the roads are our responsibility, the fountain is the OrBorJor‘s and we must have their permission to remove it,” K. Saroj explained.

Prasong Manokarn, chief of OrBorJor‘s department of civil works, told the Gazette, “I have talked with K. Saroj about the plan twice within the past two months. It’s possible because we don’t need a large budget to do it and it can been done quickly – and it will reduce the number of serious traffic jams there.

“However, I must get the approval of the OrBorJor council, which will meet soon,” he said.

 

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