RASSADA: Work is underway on Phuket’s new bus terminal, which is scheduled to open in early 2010.
Phuket Provincial Land Transport Office chief Sompong Thosawat said the new bus terminal will occupy a nine-rai plot of land on Thepkrasattri Rd southbound, about 300 meters south of Supercheap.
The site is suitable for the new station as it is located outside the city center, on the island’s central artery, and has room for future expansion if necessary, he said.
Other sites considered for the new station by a panel set up by former governor Niran Kalayanamit included locations on Chao Fa Rd in Chalong and sites in Koh Kaew and along Kuku Rd, also in Tambon Rassada, he said.
In the end the Thepkrasattri Rd site was chosen for its central location, and the land purchase was made with 79 million baht in funding from the Transport Ministry.
After delays in finding a contractor because no firm tendered a bid in the first round, the contract was eventually awarded to Anda Phuket Construction Co Ltd at a cost of 47.98 million baht.
Site work began in September and is scheduled for completion by November 2009. After interior work is completed, the station is expected to open early in 2010.
Mr Sompong has proposed to the Phuket Provincial Highways Office construction of an elevated horseshoe-shaped U-Turn to allow buses to make an aerial crossing over Thepkrasattri Rd and head north without obstructing traffic flow.
The Highways Office has already begun surveying and initial design work for the U-turn, he said.
The new station will comprise two main sections: a covered platform with parking for 32 buses and a two-story passenger building. Similar to the configuration at many airports, the upper floor will be for departures and the lower for arrivals.
The new terminal will have the capacity and facilities to meet international standards. The passenger building will also have a post office and many shops, he said.
When construction is completed, the Transport Ministry will transfer ownership and administration of the complex to the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization.
Mr Sompong reiterated that the station will only be used by buses heading off-island to other provinces – not by local buses.
The current bus station, located on a two-rai plot on Phang Nga Rd in the heart of Phuket City, will remain open to service local public transport routes and will remain under the administration of Phuket City Municipality, he said.
The opening of the new station will mean that the large coaches that service inter-provincial routes will no longer have to navigate the narrow roads of the city center, where they create traffic congestion.
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