Officials met at Phuket Provincial Hall on Wednesday (Oct 12) to start discussions on a suitable location for the monument to be enshrined while construction work takes place on the B2 billion project to build a three-lane underpass under the Heroines Monument to alleviate traffic in the area.
Construction is expected to begin in 2024, and the underpass to open for service in 2027.
Phuket Vice Governor Amnuay Pinsuwan led the talks on Wednesday and was joined by Phra Achan Sittchawit Supatipanno, Abbot of Phra Nang Sang Temple, Sutha Prateep Na Thalang, Member of the House of Representatives of Phuket, along with and heads of relevant government agencies and representatives from the private sector.
It was stressed that the temporary relocation of the statue must be to an area in the Thalang district although no details were provided on possible location.
It was also confirmed that repair and restoration works would take place on the statue while it is in its temporary home.
The underpass is planned to be three lanes wide under the monument along Thepkrasattri Rd.
Two lanes of the lanes will be northbound, with each lane 3.25 metres wide, and one lane will be southbound, 4.5m wide.
At the ground level there will be two lanes on each side, with each lane 2.1m to 2.7m wide, and the plan is to “maintain a two-lane roundabout around the monument along with designing a traffic signal system at intersections for safety,” stated a survey and report conducted by the Bureau of Surveying and Design under the Department of Highways in July.
“When the project is completed, it will increase the efficiency of traveling to be more convenient, faster and safer, while Increasing the elegance of the important landmark monument as well as promoting tourism of Phuket,” the report concluded.
The redesign plans include raising the monument itself by 90cm amid a gardened forecourt where visitors can come to pay their respects.
Access to the monument will be by walkways leading to the Robinson department store on the northwest corner of the intersection and to the closed jewellery retail centre (the building that looks like a museum) on the southeast corner of the intersection.
Stairs and elevators will be installed to make visiting the shrine accessible to all people, and a multipurpose hall will be built to showcase the legendary tale of the island’s two heroines.
People wanting to visit the monument will be able to park at either the jewellery retail centre building or the Robinson department store, the report said.