“Construction will start after January 2016,” confirmed Department of Highways Project Engineer Chalermpon Wongkietkun this week.
“The main reason for the delay is that all of the electricity pylons and water pipes in the area must be moved first to clear the area for the construction, and I have no idea how long this process will take.”
“We have to wait for the Provincial Electricity Authority to start their preliminary inspection to find a way to safely remove the electricity pylons and water pipes from the area.
“Only after they have done this, which probably will take another two to three months, can we begin our construction,” he said.
Even the work on upgrading the side roads proposed as alternative routes for motorists while construction is underway has been delayed, Mr Chalermpon admitted. (See story here.)
“The areas beside the roads are under inspection by the Phuket Highways Office to calculate the current market value of the land so we can purchase these extra land parcels. This must be done before we can upgrade the side roads as alternative routes during the construction,” he said.
Phuket Highways Office Chief Samak Luedwonghad confirmed that he had received news of the delays from Mr Chalermpon.
“We expect to begin work on upgrading the side roads in October,” he said.
Under the terms of the concession signed, the contractor, Civil Engineering Co Ltd, will be fined B1,366,375 per day for failing to complete the project on time.
Although the government concession was signed on July 28, giving 780 days for the project to be completed by September 14, 2017 (see story here), the deadline has now been pushed back, Mr Chalermpon confirmed.