Race against time on Phuket’s Thalang Road

PHUKET CITY: Work to bury power cables along Thalang Rd is nearing completion and the city is hoping to have the project completely finished in time for the fourth Old Phuket Town Festival next month.

Aekapop Patpathom, project engineer with the Provincial Electrical Authority (PEA) office in Phuket, said all of the underground conduits have been installed.

He initially expected all the cable installation work would be completed by the end of December, but was then asked to expedite work so that it would be ready by the 4th Old Phuket Town Festival that kicks off on December 13.

The PEA part of the work might come in at slightly over the 11 million baht budget, Mr Aekapop said.

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The total project budget of 19 million baht is being funded jointly by Phuket City Municipality, the PEA, and the Telephone Organization of Thailand (TOT).

Mr Aekapop said the weather and cooperation from other agencies involved in the project would be important factors in whether the deadline could be reached.

Local agencies, property owners and motorists have all been very cooperative, allowing the project to move forward according to schedule, he said.

The PEA has already surveyed sections of Krabi Rd, Phuket Rd and Dibuk Rd as part of plans to expand the project over a wider area that would eventually extend to the Standard Chartered Bank intersection at Phuket Rd, and then along Dibuk Rd from the junction of Prasart Wittaya School to Kanok Kwan Kindergarten.

Phuket City Deputy Mayor Tavorn Jirapattanasopon told a recent press conference that work moving the electrical and telecommunications cables into the conduits was about 70% complete.

Phuket City is responsible for waterworks and other public works, including resurfacing of the road and removal of the ugly old utility poles.

Work to remove the poles should begin at the start of December. Once that is completed the road will be resurfaced, he said.

The final step will be installation of new light posts in front of each house to give the street a more ‘yesteryear’ feel.

Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwanasupana said the biggest obstacle to completing the work in time for the festival is rain, as the resurfacing work could only be carried out in dry conditions.

The city initially considered five roads in the area for the project, including parts of Thepkrsattri Rd and Yaowarat Rd, she said.

Yaowarat Rd was ruled out because the large transformers along them could not be buried, she said.

After the public sees the new face of Thalang Rd, a public hearing will be held to gauge public opinion about extending the project to Krabi, Phuket, and Dibuk Roads, Mayor Somjai said.

— Hasan Che-aware

Phuket News

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