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First section of Patong Tunnel, expressway projects open for bids

First section of Patong Tunnel, expressway projects open for bids

PHUKET: A section of elevated expressway four kilometres long linking the Patong Tunnel project to the Muang Mai - Koh Kaew - Kathu expressway has been approved and construction of that section can begin, Phuket officials have reported.

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 20 December 2022, 11:13AM

The news came at the second public hearing for the Muang Mai - Koh Kaew - Kathu expressway held at the Royal Phuket City Hotel in Phuket Town yesterday (Dec 19), chaired by Surachet Laopoolsuk, Governor of the Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT).

Mr Surachet explained that the public hearing was to explain the construction plans for the Muang Mai - Koh Kaew - Kathu expressway and gain feedback from the public. The hearing was held to also propose several options for the plans for the expressway, he said.

About 500 people joined the meeting, either in person or via Zoom online.

The first public hearing was held on July 4 this year, Mr Surachet said. The third public hearing is scheduled to be held in April 2023, he added.

The Muang Mai - Koh Kaew - Kathu expressway covers a distance of about 30km. The expressway will be elevated with two lanes each 3.5 metres wide in each direction, with a service lane on each side.

The initial investment cost of the project is B30.456 billion, with land ownership costs totalling B17.054bn and construction costs accounting for B13.402bn.

The expressway will begin in Tambon Thepkrasattri, at km. 19+975 on Route 4026, turn right and head south to parallel Route 402 (Thepkrasattri Rd).

The expressway will continue south to join Route 4030, then connect to Route 4024 (the bypass road) in Koh Kaew. From there, the expressway will continue as an elevated road on Wichit Songkram Rd and pass through the northern section of Kathu. 

The section of road connecting the southern end of the expressway with the Patong Tunnel project, officially called the Kathu-Patong Expressway, covers a total distance of 4.23km.

The Phuket Info Center, operated by the Phuket Governor’s office, reported that motorbikes will not be allowed on the expressway, which will have a speed limit set at 90-110km/h.

Mr Surachet pointed out that five “interchanges” ‒ points where motorists can enter and exit the expressway ‒ are being proposed. 

The first is at Muang Mai where the expressway is to connect with Route 4026. The second is at  Baan Don, where it is currently proposed to have a flyover where motorists can join Route 4030.

Two interchanges are planned for Baan Manik, one is a “Trumpet Interchange” to connect with Route 4025, the other is a Y-shaped intersection.

Another Y-shaped interchange is planned for where the expressway connects to Route 4024 (the bypass road).


Mr Surachet also noted that bids to build the 3.98km ‘Kathu-Patong Expressway’ project will open on Monday (Dec 26), with tenders accepted from March next year.

The project is estimated to cost B14.67bn in total to build, with acquiring the land alone estimated to cost about B5.79bn, he said.

The expressway will be built under a public-private partnership (PPP) model, he noted. The government will expropriate the land, while the assigned contractor will design and build the project, as well as operate and maintain the project for 35 years.

The planned expressway will connect Phra Mettha Rd in Patong and with Wichit Songkram Rd in Kathu.

The project includes a 1.85km long tunnel through the hills separating Kathu and Patong. The tunnel will have two lanes each way: one lane each way for cars and larger vehicles, and one lane each way will be reserved for motorbikes.

An estimated 36,000 cars and 35,000 motorbikes - are expected to use the tunnel each day, Mr Surachet said.

The toll fees for using the tunnel have been proposed at B15 for motorbikes, B40 for cars, B80 for six-to ten-wheeled vehicles and B125 for larger vehicles, reported the Bangkok Post.

However, official reports of the public hearing yesterday noted only that, “The toll fee is under consideration, but will be fair to attract people to use the service as much as possible.”

“The goal is to get approval for the projects within 2023-2024 and it will take about three years to complete the construction and have the projects completed in time and open for use by Expo 2028,” Mr Surachet said.

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Pooliekev | 21 December 2022 - 14:40:20

Kurt rarely makes any sense. 

JohnC | 21 December 2022 - 09:00:38

LOL. Well he didn't let us down! Twenty questions again all of which make no sense what so ever.

Kurt | 21 December 2022 - 08:35:18

All talks/meetings about new-new-new roads, expressway, tunnel, rail tracks. Why not first improve condition of existing road infra structure? And why all the time a 'link talk' with that  ( may be) just 3 months Expo-2028? For which Phuket actually is still 1 of the possible candidates only.

Prab | 20 December 2022 - 23:06:12

give the poject to me... i have a good name..lol.. i can make it in 2-3 weeks and easy done 

DeKaaskopp | 20 December 2022 - 21:59:35

Answering all his questions until he is satisfied will delay the project until at least 2025.

ematt | 20 December 2022 - 12:07:19

It will be important to get Kurt onto the project before they proceed to far. He will have many questions that will need to be answered to his satisfaction first. 


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