The announcement follows Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob inspecting the work underway on the hill last Friday (Dec 2).
Currently the project to rebuild and reinforce the embankment where the landslide occurred in October is about 70% complete, said an official report of Mr Saksayam’s visit.
“It is expected to be completed and fully returned to the public around December 25,” the report noted.
Currently, motorbikes and “small vehicles” (cars, pickup trucks and passenger vans) are allowed to travel over the hill and past the landslide site in both directions between Patong and Kathu.
All other traffic must access Patong via either Kamala to the north of Patong, or via Chalong-Kata-Karon to the south of Patong.
Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong last week assured that safety will be the top criteria in any decisions made in allowing any vehicles to use the main road over Patong Hill.
Meanwhile, the privately built road up Patong Hill from opposite Patong Go Kart on Phra Baramee Rd in Kathu to the Chao Por Seua Temple (“Tiger Temple”) at the top of hill officially opened yesterday (Dec 5).
The road, which has yet to be designated an official name, opened to traffic as part of the “test phase” last Tuesday (Nov 29).
Only motorbikes and ‘small vehicles’ ‒ namely cars, pickup trucks and passenger vans ‒ are allowed to use the road. Heavy vehicles are not permitted to use the road.
While in Phuket, Mr Saksayam attended a meeting at Phuket airport chaired by Phuket Vice Governor Amnuay Pinsuwan to update him on the status of the transport mega-projects slated to start on the island next year.
The projects listed as discussed at the meeting were the Phuket light rail, the Kathu-Patong Expressway Project (Patong Tunnel), the Muang Mai-Koh Kaew -Kathu Special Route (“expressway”) Project and the underpass project at the Heroines Monument.
Joining Mr saksayam for the meeting were representatives from the Department of Highways, the Department of Rural Roads, the Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT) the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) and the Marine Department.
No details of the progress of any of the projects were included in the official report, other than they were still proceeding according to schedule.