Road repair on Patong Hill may take more than 2 months

PHOTO: Road repair for Patong Hill may take more than the 45 days originally predicted. (via Phuket Info Centre)

The extensive road damage due to landslides on Patong Hill is now expected to take longer to repair than the original 45-day prediction. Pounding rains and land erosion have severely damaged the road which has been closed and opened several times to varying degrees in an attempt to allow people to pass between Patong and Kathu.

After heavy rains caused damage closing the road, officials first reopened the road to foot traffic only. Then when the roads were stabilised a week later, authorities began to allow motorbikes to pass over Patong Hill. The road had just been reopened to small car traffic when it had to be shut down again two days later due to safety risks. Officials found that, despite using the road lane closest to the embankment, the weight of cars travelling over it widened the cracks that already existed at the edge of the road, according to the Phuket Info Centre.

“The noticeable gaps in the road are larger were caused by the day when cars were released from Kathu. At this time, some mortar has been poured into the side cavities of the road. [Repairs] may not be able to finish within 45 days due to weather conditions and the loading and unloading of the paving stones takes a long time to travel.”

Large rocks and heavier soil have been trucked in and spread across the base of the embankment the landslide washed away. It will be compacted itostrengthen the base of the land for the roadway to be repaired. The plan was originally announced as a 20 million baht temporary fix, with full road repair plans never released publicly. The plan seems to be to make sharp curves less dangerous, easing the slope of descent, and generally making the road wider as it heads downhill.

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The mayor of Kathu had given a speech at the end of last month saying they expected repairs to last between 45 and 60 days, and Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew has referred to that same timeline since attending that speech. Now The Phuket News reports that it seems like that timing may be delayed due to weather and more extensive road repairs being needed.

Currently, small vehicles and motorbikes are allowed to travel downhill towards Kathu, and motorbikes are allowed to travel uphill going towards Patong. Kamala is reporting heavy traffic though since it’s the shortest open path to get to Patong from the airport. The only other detour would be to drive ao the south of the island to Chalong Circle and then through Kata and Karon to Patong.

Phuket News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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