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The site for the underpass, viewed from the Central festival footbridge

Phuket Underpass Red Light Until Weekend

Monday, November 19, 2012
PHUKET: Officials in charge of building Phuket's first underpass have rejected claims that it will create traffic ''chaos'' while it is being built.

''The object is to make Phuket's traffic flow more smoothly,'' the director of Italian-Thai Development, Narong Horee, said today.

''Residents are being told on television, radio and on billboards how to help ease potential traffic congestion.''

The start of the 600 million baht underpass project, due for a beginning on Wednesday, has been moved back and will now launch at 10pm on Friday.

People travelling from southern Phuket have been advised to turn left or right at the Central Festival intersection, Khun Narong said today.

Motorists travelling south have also been advised of potential diversions if traffic becomes too heavy because of the roadwork.

The narrowing of the bypass road route from three lanes to two in both directions is expected to cause some delays but will be a long way short of ''chaos,'' Khun Narong said.

About 40 traffic police will be on hand to help as barriers are structured along the route to separate work from passing traffic.

A footbridge that links Central Festival to another shopping precinct on the opposite side of the bypass road is to stay in place until February, Khun Narong said.

''An MoU has been signed with Central so that the footbridge can stay in place until the peak holiday season has passed,'' he said.

''Central Festival is looking at ways of carrying people from one shopping centre to the other once the footbridge comes down,'' Khun Narong said.

The underpass, together with a flyover system at the Tesco-Lotus intersection two kilometres along the bypass road, is expected to improve long-term traffic flow on Phuket at the cost of short-term inconvenience.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


it will be pure chaos. How they determine it will improve the traffic flow is beyond me. By the time it is completed more traffic will be on the road which will then compensate for the underpass. Lack of forward thinking and competent road management has resulted in this mess. Really highlights the problem that Phuket needs an alternative form of transport and quickly.

Posted by reader on November 19, 2012 12:56


This underpass, will only "postpone" or move the "bottle-neck" to elsewhere. Chalong circle / Toyota By-pass road for example.

Posted by PhuketGreed on November 19, 2012 15:21


Such is the reputation of Thai officialdom, I think the sole purpose of these projects is to line the pockets of the people involved.

Posted by Ga on November 19, 2012 17:00


Has anyone seen any measuring tools for traffic flow rate, any staff counting traffic flow? How do they know the numbers? Last time I saw the black strips over the asphalt was around year 2000 at the Lotus intersection! How do they plan such a project without facts and research? Can the project management show to the public the number of cars, buses or trucks passing trough on this road at any point of the day?

Posted by Questions on November 19, 2012 17:26


I'm no expert, but isn't 2 years a very long time to complete a project like this?

Posted by christian on November 19, 2012 19:40


I have read many comments regarding the construction of the underpass at Central Festival. My main concern relates to access to both the Bangkok and Phuket International Hospitals. I worry about delays to Ambulances and other vehicles transporting patients to these hospitals who need emergency medical treatment. My fear is that lives will be lost because of the delays which will result from these roadworks. Lets hope that my fears are groundless but I am not hopeful. Maybe someone in authority will comment on this.

Posted by Anonymous on November 19, 2012 21:44

Editor Comment:

Anonymous message get the consideration they demand, Anonymous.


I have never seen an underpass in BKK. And with Phuket's roadways so class to sea level, I cannot fathom how all this is even a serious consideration. Has there been any public protests/outcries/meetings of this project from the local Thai residences? I would have participated.

Posted by peter rawai on November 20, 2012 06:08


@Peter..The elevation of both this intersection and the one at Tesco-Lotus are about 20 problem regarding sea level..other problems...many and varied for sure..

Posted by davidj949 on November 20, 2012 09:24


Have to feel a little sorry for Central Festival, their just opend their new section, in the Homeworks biulding, now find that the connecting footbridge will be removed. If I come out of the Homeworks carpark, how do I easily get across the road, to go to Big C or for that matter anywhere on the north lanes.

Posted by dbate_me on November 20, 2012 16:57


Could be an opportunity to have a good old aussie barbie, down near the footbribge, on Friday morning, and watch the chaos, should be a laugh and a great photo op.

Posted by dbate_me on November 21, 2012 13:57

Thursday May 30, 2024
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