Staff at Phuket International Airport have asked travellers boarding flights to account for the delays when calculating their travel time to the airport as disruptions to traffic flow at the intersection are expected to last at least months.
A key concern is that the traffic lights at the intersection will be turned off while retaining walls are excavated and put in place, explained Somkiet Yimpong, the Phuket Highways Department engineer tasked with overseeing construction of the underpass.
Traffic heading north and south will be able to drive through the intersection unimpeded, he said.
“Traffic from Phuket Airport heading toward Phuket Town must first turn left (north) then make a u-turn in order to travel south,” Mr Somkiet explained.
“Traffic coming from Phang Nga must continue southbound through the intersection then make a u-turn at Bang Khanun Forest so it can head north again and turn left at the intersection to go to the airport,” he added.
“This project will take about 33 months. The contract for construction began on October 1, 2016 and the project is scheduled for completion by June 17, 2019,” Mr Somkiet noted.
“Italian-Thai Development Co Ltd (Ital-Thai) is the construction contractor. The company already has workers moving electricity poles and water pipes at the site now,” he said.”
News of the new underpass, which will become the fifth underpass on the island, broke in March this year. A budget of B500 million has been allocated to complete the project. (See story here.)