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Phuket unveils plans for Chalong underpass



PHUKET: Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut has unveiled six routes being considered for a new underpass to be built at Chalong Circle, by far the busiest junction in the south of the island.

The new underpass will need to serve about 53,000 cars per day, accounting for about 60 per cent of all traffic in Muang District, he told the press at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday.

“There are terrible traffic jams there every day,” he said.

The proposed routes being considered for the underpass are:

1. Two-way between Chao Fa East Road and Wiset Road (to Rawai);

2. Two-way between Chao Fa West Road and Wiset Road;

3. One-way southbound from Chao Fa East Road and one-way southbound from Chao Fa West Road to Wiset Road;

4. One-way southbound from Chao Fa East Road to Wiset Road and one-way northbound from Wiset Road to Chao Fa West Road;

5. Two-way between Chao Fa East Road and Patak Road (to Kata-Karon);

6. One-way southbound from Chao Fa East Road to Patak Road.

“We will choose the route that requires the least land to be expropriated and which best preserves Phuket’s beautiful landscape,” Governor Maitri said.

“We prefer to build an underpass – instead of expanding roads or building flyovers – because doing so will have the least impact on communities and the environment,” he added.

Governor Maitri also confirmed that the underpass currently under construction at the Darasamuth Intersection, in front of the Central Festival Phuket shopping mall, is on schedule to open to traffic by January 2014.

“The underpass is now 25 per cent complete. It will be ready to use by January, but the roads around the underpass will also have to be done, which means the entire project will be 100 per cent complete on October 5, 2014,” he said.

A public hearing on the proposed underpass at the Samkong Intersection, in front of Tesco Lotus on the bypass road, will be held on July 5, Gov Maitri said.

“The venue for the public hearing has yet to be announced,” he said.

— Auntika Sivasen


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