Kathu roadworks to cause tailbacks

KATHU: Motorists traveling between Kathu and Phuket City can expect traffic delays over the next year, as the narrow, hilly stretch of Wichit Songkhram Rd west of Makro is now being widened into a four-lane divided highway with sidewalks on both sides.

The work is underway by project contractor Noppawong Kosarng Company, which was awarded the contract after making a 45.9-million-baht bid to Kathu Municipality.

The company has a year to complete the work, which includes excavation of large quantities of earth along a 300-meter section of road, building a retaining wall to prevent landslides, and drainage pipe construction. The finished road will have a 10-inch concrete base covered with asphalt and a median strip two meters wide.

Work began on October 7 and is now about 10% complete, said Charoonlerk Logoottara, Head of Kathu Municipality’s Civil Engineering Department, which is overseeing the work.

The work starts at Soi Thida and ends about a kilometer away in front of Moo Baan Irawadee Ketho housing estate. The project is intended to match in width and appearance the road widening work on the same road near the Darasamut/Central Festival Intersection.

Kathu Municipality is responsible for the entire project, although some parts of it fall outside its normal jurisdiction and are in neighboring Tambon Wichit, he said.

The project is vital because the road in its current state is too narrow to serve as the main route between the island’s two largest population centers, Patong and Phuket City, he added.

“I’m sure the project will be completed on time, but we will face problems as there are no alternative routes we can use to detour traffic,” he said.

In the meantime, he suggested that motorists traveling between Kathu and Patong use Phra Phuket Kaew Rd, which starts at the Samkong Intersection near Tesco-Lotus, as an alternative.

Although the distance may be a bit further for some motorists, the time saved by avoiding traffic will make up the difference, he said.

Phuket News
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