PHUKET CITY: Work on the project to bury power cables along Thalang Road in Old Phuket Town got underway yesterday morning, with workers marking lines near the pavement to mark the trench that will house the conduit.
The narrow trench, about half a meter wide, will run along the right-hand side of the one-way road, once the heart of Phuket’s commercial district.
Work is starting at the west end of the road, at the junction with Yaowarat Road.
Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana said the joint project between Phuket City Municipality and TOT Public Company Limited has a total budget of just over Bt19.2 million.
Work is divided into three contract phases, with actual cable installation and electric work to be done by TOT starting from July 15.
Under the contract, all of the electrical work should be completed by January 11, 2010.
After that, work on drainage and road improvement in the area is set to begin with the aim of sprucing up the area and increasing its appeal to tourists.
One improvement will be the replacement of the hanging strings of exposed fluorescent light bulbs with more attractive streetlamps.
Phuket City Deputy Mayor Thawatchai Thongmung told the Gazette work on the project was initially scheduled to begin on May 15, but had to be postponed after members of the Thalang Road Community voted to use the trench to replace the existing blue PVC water supply pipe that runs along the road with a new high-density polyethylene (HDPE) main.
The old PVC pipe is more than 20 years old, he said.
In what could entail some long nights for local residents, work on the project will be carried out after dark, from 6pm to 9am daily.
“During most of the construction we will not close Thalang Road, we will only block off an area about 30 meters long and divert traffic around it. There may be a few times that we will have to close down the road completely,” said Mr Thawatchai.
Despite the work, local residents can expect few disruptions to power supply, he said.
“After all the electric work is completely finished there will be a four-hour power cut, after which time supply will be restored using the new cable,” he said.
“Phuket City Municipality would like to apologize to everyone for the disturbance, but we ask for your patience. After construction is finished, Thalang Road will be more beautiful and will have the first [public] underground electric supply of its kind on the island,” Mayor Somjai said.
— Khunakorn Terdkiatkhachorn
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