Somkiet Yimpong, Project Manager at the Phuket office of the Highways Department, revealed the news at meeting with Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong earlier today (May 22).
Mr Somkiet explained to Governor Norraphat that Chalong Circle will not be closed to turns until workers have completed widening the traffic lanes past the construction site, as ordered by Gov Norraphat himself last month. (See story here.)
“We will finish widening the lanes early next month. This will make driving past the Chalong Underpass construction site much easier,” said Mr Somkiet.
However, after the lane widening is complete, traffic will not be allowed to use the circle to cross major traffic flow heading in the opposite direction. (See traffic flow map in the gallery above.)
Drivers heading north from Rawai or arriving at Chalong Circle from Kata-Karon on Patak Rd will be able to continue unimpeded straight through onto Chao Fa West Rd.
However, those heading north wanting to drive onto Chao Fa East Rd or got to Chalong Pier must first continue along Chao Fa West Rd, drive past the HomePro Village shopping mall and then make a U-turn at Anusorn Rd.
From there drivers can head back south and turn left onto Chao Fa East Rd or enter Soi Sunrise to access Chalong Pier.
Likewise, motorists heading south along Chao East Rd or Chao Fa West Rd en route to Kata or Karon will have to continue past Chalong Circle and make a U-turn in front of Muang Phuket School in order to head north again so they can left onto Patak Rd.
However, Mr Somkiet urged drivers of trucks and buses to not attempt U-turns at the new designated points after the circle is closed to turns.
Instead, drivers of northbound heavy vehicles are urged to make their U-turns in front of Wat Chalong, or drive even further north to Kwang Rd, which they can use to switch between the Chao Fa East and Chao Fa West roads.
Drivers of southbound heavy vehicles are urged to continue south along Wiset Rd and make a U-turn in front of Soi Suksan 1.
“This will help traffic to flow more. We understand traffic there, so everything is being done according to process,” Mr Somkiet said.
Progress in construction remains at 45%, Mr Somkiet informed the Governor, marking no change since our last report. (See story here.)
“Now we are in the process of making the underpass roof, ground and concrete walls. Everything is going to plan right now,” Mr Somkiet said.