Phuket

Steep slope stalls Phuket shortcut plan

PHUKET: Work is underway on a new road joining Kathu and Wichit, in central Phuket, but the plans are being reviewed as the main hill the road was to have passed over has now proved too steep to pave.

Teeraporn Jirarattanakorn, director of the Department of Rural Roads office in Phuket, told the Phuket Gazette the completed 1.5-kilometer road will connect Wichit Songkram Road in Kathu with Chaofa Thani Road in Wichit.

The roadwork is being carried out under an 11 million baht budget for fiscal 2011.

Built on land donated by six private owners, the road will be a typical rural road with two 3.5-meter-wide lanes running in opposite directions and with no median strip.

The road would start at Soi Luang Cha-na Thongtan on Wichit Songkhram Road, near the Kuan Lim San community, and connect with Chaofa Thani Road, about halfway between Prince of Songkhla University and the Anuphas Honda showroom on Chao Fa West Road.

Once completed, the road is expected to save considerable time for motorists looking to bypass the congested section of Chao Fa East Road between Kajonkietsuksa School and the Darasamuth School junction.

Work clearing the land is underway and the office hopes to sign a contract this month to build a 650-meter stretch extending from Wichit Songkhram Road and a 400-meter stretch extending from Chaofa Thani Road.

The two “spur roads” are scheduled for completion by September 30.

However, Mr Teeraporn explained the hill is too steep to safely build a road over.

“Landslides could occur, so we need to revise the road plan. We may excavate the hilltop, but the budget required will increase to 30 million baht,” he said.

An alternative route around the hill is also being considered, he added.

Funding for any extra work is expected to become available in fiscal 2012, which starts on October 1, 2011, Mr Teeraporn added.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan

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