The Governor levelled his appeal at a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday (July 11), attended by Phuket Highways Chief Somwong Lohanut, other relevant officials and some of the landowners involved.
The project budget for two flyover U-turns to be built, including one at Koh Kaew was approved in 2016 (see story here), the Governor explained.
However, even back then owners of land along the side of the road were reluctant to sell in order to let the project proceed. (See story here.)
The problem became moot late last year after historical sites near the proposed flyover U-turn sites forced the Highways Office to conduct a new Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports for both construction projects. (See story here.)
By law require local residents must give their approval through public meetings in order for the projects to pass EIA requirements.
In January this year, local residents voted not to have a U-turn flyover built over Thepkrasattri Rd in Koh Kaew. Instead, they opted for expanded ground level U-turn at the site. (See story here.)
Expanding the ground-level U-turn will need the full road width to be expanded to 35 metres on each side, resulting in 10.7 rai of roadside land needing to be acquired by the government in order for the project to proceed.
“This is so the U-turn lanes can be big enough to allow large vehicles, even semi-trailers, to make U-turns in a fully separated U-turn lane so that motorists can make U-turns safely and uninterrupted, without causing any delays to traffic passing by,” Phuket Highways Office Deputy Chief Pichak Sornchana explained in January. (See story here.)
Governor Phakaphong told the landlords present at the meeting yesterday, “This U-turn project will help to solve traffic problems on the Thepkrasattri Rd, which is a main road for inbound and outbound traffic during rush hours.
“We have spoken with local residents in the area… The Department of Highways have come up with a to look after local residents who might be affected by this construction,” he added.
“I want all landlords to have same understanding to agree this construction so that traffic will finally flow after this U-turn project is done,” Governor Phakaphong said.