Work on Phuket’s B600mn underpass to begin after October 9
PHUKET: Construction of the underpass at the Darasamuth Intersection, in front of the Central Festival Phuket shopping mall, will not commence until at least October 9, the director of the Highways Department’s Phuket office confirmed today.
The government tender for Italian-Thai Co Ltd, Thailand’s largest construction contractor, to formally take on the project was supposed to be signed today, Phuket Highways Office Director Samak Luedwonghad told the Phuket Gazette this afternoon.
“However, with the government fiscal [budget] year ending on September 30, and Director-General of the Department of Highways Wanchai Phaklak retiring on that date, there will be a delay,” he explained.
The incoming Director-General of the Department of Highways, Chatchawan Boonjaorenkit, will need to review and approve the contract, he added.
“However, an officer at the Department of Highways’ Bureau of Bridge Construction in Bangkok has confirmed that the soonest the contract can be signed is October 9,” Mr Samak said.
The news today provides a temporary reprieve from the impending traffic jams that many fear will gridlock the area once construction of Phuket’s first underpass begins.
Fears of longs tailbacks throughout the area surrounding the central junction prompted the Highways Department to hold a public meeting to suggest alternative routes for motorists to alleviate traffic congestion when construction begins.
— Chutharat Plerin
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