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The construction contracts have been signed and the two contractors have 780 days from today (July 28) to complete their respective underpasses – at the Bang Khu Intersection and under Chalong Circle – but the plans have yet to be finalised, The Phuket News has learned.
“The contracts to complete the construction began today – giving contractors 780 days each to complete an underpass at Bang Khu and another one under Chalong Circle,” Samak Lueduanghad, Director of the Highways Department Phuket office, told The Phuket News this morning.
“But no exact date has been set yet for actual construction to begin on either project.”
The contracts were signed in Bangkok yesterday (July 27), Mr Samak confirmed.
“Italian-Thai Development PCL, the same company that built the Darasamuth underpass, will build the underpass at Bang Khu, and Civil Engineering Co Ltd will take care of the Chalong tunnel,” he said.
The total budgeted cost of the two underpasses will exceed a billion baht, Mr Samak confirmed.
“The Bang Khu underpass has been set a budget of B600 million and the tunnel under the Chalong Circle has been budgeted at B550mn,” he said.
However, plans for both projects have yet to be finalised as final touches are still needed to the final drawings, despite both projects already having passed their respective Environmental Impact Asessment (EIA) reports.
“Both companies now have one month in which to submit their final plans for each project to Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong,” Mr Samak said.
“The plans are much more comprehensive than just another underpass,” he added. “For example, the Bang Khu project requires more than just a tunnel, it also requires roadworks covering 2.2 kilometres, and the Chalong Circle underpasses now requires two lanes in each direction each 2-3 meters wide.”
At last report, the Bang Khu underpass will have two lanes stretching 790 meters in length, while the Chalong Circle tunnel will be 750m long.
The news today follows Deputy Minister of Transport Arkhom Termpittayapaisith visiting Phuket to inspect the Samkong and Darasamuth underpasses on May 2.
During his visit, Deputy Minister Arkhom ordered the Department of Highways have have all procedural steps for both projects completed by the end of June.
Mr Arkhom also announced that a budget of B200m had been set aside to build a U-turn flyover at Koh Kaew and another flyover near the turnoff to Phuket International Airport in order to reduce traffic congestion on Thepkrassatri Rd.