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Work on Phuket landmark delayed

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PHUKET: Work on the “Patong City” welcome sign project is more than a month behind schedule, but should be ready sometime next month, officials say.

Construction work was abandoned during heavy rains last week, Patong municipal officer Siwapong Chechang told the Gazette.

“It is too dangerous to continue work when it rains heavily so the project is going much slower than expected,” he said.

This afternoon Mr Siwapong said workers were back on the job, doing their best to cope with the difficult conditions.

On rainy days the workers tend to focus on parts of the construction, such as masonry, that can be completed without the added risk of obstructing passing motorists.

Long tailbacks form “immediately” if any construction materials fall into road, he said.

The project contractor has every reason to move as quickly as possible because the scheduled completion date has already passed and the company is now subject to fines which mount daily.

The contractor should be able to finish the work some time in November, he said.

November is a pivotal month in Phuket. It is not only the time when monsoonal conditions typically abate, but it also marks the traditional beginning of “high season” for tourism.

Before work began in April, Patong Mayor Pian Keesin said the sign was destined to become a Phuket landmark.

The project is funded by the central government’s Thai Khem Kaeng (Strong Thailand) financial stimulus package.

When completed, the new sign will feature the words “Patong City” in two-meter-high letters on a cliff-side wall along the eastbound lane of the Patong Hill road, about 100 meters uphill from the shooting range.

For more information about the project, click here.

For results of a Gazette readers’ poll on whether the 9-million-baht project is money well spent, click here.

For a recent editorial about the state of the road at the project site, click here.

— Janpen Upatising

 

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