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How Phuket's Central Festival underpass will look when complete

Underpass Set to Transform Traffic

Tuesday, September 18, 2012
PHUKET: Construction of Phuket's Central Festival underpass is expected to begin later this month with alternative routes proposed, a public meeting heard today.

The meeting was the last hurdle before the 600 million baht project gets underway - literally - with the aim of relieving congestion at one of Phuket's most important intersections.

It's the first time traffic has deviated from ground-level on Phuket and yet another indication that Phuket is rapidly becoming an urbanised ''Phuket City.''

The big dig is not expected to close the bypass road completely but Phuket police and Phuket Highways Department officials are suggesting that motorists consider alternative routes to make sure they are not delayed.

The 850-metre project will overlap with the second big 700 million baht project at the Tesco Lotus intersection, about two kilometres up the bypass road.

The Central Festival underpass is expected to be complete in 2014. Work on the Tesco-Lotus project is to begin in 2013.

About 40 representatives from schools, resorts, retail outlets and Tungthong Police Station attended today's meeting at Vichit District Council offices.

The map shows alternative routes being suggested to avoid congestion.

Traffic heading south along the bypass - Chalermprakiat Road - to southern Phuket is advised to turn left at Tesco-Lotus and take Yaowarat Road through Phuket City before swinging right at Bangkok Road then into Virat Hongyok Road and left to return the journey south in Chaofa Road West.

An alternative for traffic heading north takes the same route, although officials appear to be suggesting it mostly at this stage for southbound traffic.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


"Phuket police and Phuket Highways Department officials are suggesting that motorists consider alternative routes to make sure they are not delayed."

Yes, I'm sure that will 'make sure I am not delayed'. The fact is that we will all be severely delayed and no assurance from police or officials will change that.

Posted by Sam W on September 18, 2012 15:56


Oh, not looking forward to this! Trying to imagine all that southbound traffic on bypass travelling along the mostly single-lane Yaowarat. Nightmare! I'd be keen to hear what they are suggesting for the schools, particularly Darasamuth & Thai Hua, for which access for both will be severely affected by the looks of it.

Posted by L on September 18, 2012 17:23


^^^^^ Yes- how dare they have the temerity to cause delays for a few months in order to try and improve current delays! Here's an idea Sam - leave the house a bit earlier. Consider the Honda garage - University Road if life is such a rush for you.

Posted by Mister Ree on September 18, 2012 18:40


it looks very similar to the San Pedro underpass in Marbella which opened in July .. now that took 5 years to build.. so it maybe longer then a year, also san pedro underpass was subject to flooding, which they had to fix, now lets hope the Thai Engineers have thought of this as well

Posted by adam on September 18, 2012 23:35


This will be an absolute nightmare for those travelling on the roads. Phuket already has too much traffic. Was there no think-tank before who may have pointed out that eventually we would arrive at this point? And if so, why did they not come up with a serious improvement of the highway infrustructure long before we had this amount of traffic. It doesn't take rocket science to work out how Phuket will end up ... totally gridlocked !

Posted by reader on September 19, 2012 00:13


I notice the map suggests traveling past the back of Big C towards Wichitsongkram Road at Makro to avoid the Central intersection. This seems strange as, to do that, you have to make a u-turn at the Central intersection, right where the work will be happening.

Any clarification available on the status of the u-turn? Maybe they'll open up a temporary one north of the intersection?

Posted by CaptainJack on September 19, 2012 00:14


Relax, this will screw up all transport of tourist for at least three years. converging traffic coming from Patong and going to Patong, in and out of Phuket city, in and out of Rawai, and just about all visitors to Central will be severely affected. It's to late for Phuket to get its house in order. Just like the mountain road in and out of Patong. A tunnel no less. What a joke.

Posted by Andy on September 19, 2012 08:30


How about pedestrians, how do they cross?

Posted by Hepp Hepp on September 19, 2012 09:38

Editor Comment:

Since when has Phuket had pedestrians? People on Phuket are born on motorcycle saddles.


The big problem is not the traffic congestion during the construction phase but the traffic congestion that will result when the work is finished. Traffic heading south in the future will bottle neck at the next set of traffic lights south of the Central Festival junction, viz. the junction at Chaofa West and Wirat Hong Yok Roads. And traffic heading east into Phuket town will bottle neck at the traffic lights on Vichit Songkram Road approaching Surakul Stadium. All this expensive waste of money will do is displace the congestion from one location to another! Queues at both these junctions will become even longer than they are at the moment and no one will arrive at their destination any sooner.

Posted by Tom on September 19, 2012 09:51


Easy to complain about heavy traffic, not looking at green alternatives and not to prepare the infrastructure for such as bicycles or pedestrians. Has there been any research for what is needed in that intersection, every day I pass there, and sure there are lost pedestrian trying to cross that intersection, yes mostly tourists, who actually like to walk. Supply the green alternatives and people will use them!

Posted by Hepp Hepp on September 19, 2012 11:14

Editor Comment:

At present on Phuket, green alternatives are likely to become white elephants. A commitment to a different lifestyle has to be learned. On Phuket, nobody is teaching these things.


Why didn't they construct a bridge instead? It would have been cheaper, a lot less inconvenience.

Also the point about crossing the road is totally valid, as I see many people crossing the road their because of the bus stops outside Central.

A bridge would have sorted this. Also the bridge that connects HomeWorks to Central, looks like that will have to be removed as well.

Posted by Tbs on September 19, 2012 11:29


Cheaper isn't better. What is needed and has been addressed many times is a "Mass Transit System." An overhead PTS is the only way to get people out of their cars, trucks and motorbikes.

Routing a median lane Overhead Transportation System from the Airport to Phuket Town, to Rawai, to Patong and lastly to Bangtao would eliviate much of the traffic that is clogging up the roadways.

Clean, efficient, cost conscious Mass Transit Systems are the only real answer to Phuket's out of control growth.

Posted by Andy on September 20, 2012 09:13

Wednesday April 24, 2024
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