Kathu Mayor Chai-anan Suthikul said yesterday that contracts were due to be finalised this monring and machinery was set to start work immediately.
Mayor Chai-anan also confirmed that the repair works are scheduled to last between 45-60 days, although further inclement weather could impact that timeline, he added.
Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew was at the site this morning to oversee proceedings as the machinery rolled in and commuters on bikes drove past in the designated lane. All other vehciles have been banned from using the road.
The announcement came after the news that expert geologists have been deployed to install devices to monitor the water content of the soil at the landslide site so that officials can close the road and give advance warning of any impending landslide at the site.
Assoc Prof Dr Aphinit Chotisangkat from the Department of Civil Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, at Kasetsart University and his team inspected the site on Thursday to study the geographic safety of the area.
The team installed devices to monitor the “safety aspects of the soil”, such as soil pressure, soil strength and the percentage volume of groundwater at depths of three metres and six metres.
The system installed will alert relevant officers of any measurements exceeding safety limits although who will be informed directly by the system was not explained.
Sandbags have been placed to guide any rain runoff away from the exposed soil on the side of the road where the landslide occurred Wednesday last week (Oct 19).
Barriers have also been installed to separate traffic flow as motorbike riders make their way up and down the hill past the landslide site.
The road past the landslide site remains open to motorbikes and pedestrians only. Cars and larger vehicles are still banned from crossing the hill.
No official annoucnement was made as to whether the road will be completely closed at any point whilst the repair work takes place.