Jiraroj Sukonrat, Director of Regional Transport and Traffic Systems Promotion Bureau, delivered his warning at a meeting of the Phuket Provincial Land Transport Committee at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday (Nov 23).
Also present at the meeting were representatives from the Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT) and the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA), both leading the mega-projects currently tabled to alleviate Phuket’s traffic woes.
“Construction along Route 402 [Thepkrasattri rd] is quite difficult. There will be traffic jams,” Mr Jiraroj said.
“We have looked at the special route, through Muang Mai, Koh Kaew and Kathu, which will run parallel to Route 402. This route will need to be completed before construction [on Route 402] in order to partially drain the volume of traffic [from Route 402],” he explained.
“Completing the expressway before construction of the MRTA [light rail project] will reduce the traffic volume on Route 402 line, which will result in the MRTA project having less impact on traffic,” he said.
The point was taken under advisement.
Phuket Vice Governor Amnuay Pinsuwan, who chaired the meeting, repeated the explanation that the Muang Mai - Koh Kaew - Kathu expressway will cover a distance of about 30km, starting in Tambon Thepkrasattri and continuing south to Koh Kaew. The expressway will run parallel to Route 4024 (the bypass road) and connect with Route 4029 (Phra Baramee Rd), where it is planned to connect with the “Kathu-Patong Expressway Project”, better known as the Patong Tunnel project.
“If this project is successful it will help solve the problem of traffic congestion, reduce accidents and increase the convenience of traveling in Phuket. It will improve the quality of life of people in Phuket as well as help promote Phuket as a tourism destination,” Vice Governor Amnuay said.
The Muang Mai - Koh Kaew - Kathu expressway project was currently still undergoing its environmental impact assessment (EIA), to assess the engineering, economic, financial and environmental suitability and design of the project, Mr Amnuay said.
The feasibility study began on April 1 and is scheduled to take 15 months, he said.
The operational plan for the project is 43.68% complete, which is ahead of schedule, V/Gov Amnuay added.