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Patong Hill road repairs must wait for rain to stop

Patong Hill road repairs must wait for rain to stop

PHUKET: Officials must wait for the current spate of heavy rain to stop before they can even begin to properly assess the damage done by the landslide on the road over Patong Hill, Governor Narong was told at an emergency meeting held last night (Oct 19).

disastersweathertourismtransportSafety
By The Phuket News

Thursday 20 October 2022, 08:30AM


Even then, it will take about seven days just to make emergency repairs to the road so that it can be reopened to some traffic, Phuket Highways Office Director Yutthana Pitak told the meeting of the Phuket Disaster Victims Assistance Committee, which concluded at Phuket Provincial Hall at 9pm.

Present at the meeting were a host of leading government officers on the island, including Phuket Vice Governors Pichet Panapong and Amnuay Pinsuwanm as well as police, disaster officials and even a representative of the commander of the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command based at Cape Panwa.

Other notables present included Phuket Irrigation Office Director Thammanoon Bamrungpetch, Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation (PPAO) Rewat Areerob and Kathu Mayor Chai-anan Suthikul.

“People have suffered and cannot use the road for commuting. We need to return it to normal operation as soon as possible because this road is a route of economic importance for tourism of Phuket,” Governor Narong said.

“The essence of this meeting is to brainstorm ideas to find a solution to solve the problem and repair the road up to Patong Hill,” he added.

The landslide, at about 3:20pm, saw the outer lane of the westbound side of the road, heading to Patong, collapse and disappear about 500 metres downhill from the ‘Patong City’ sign on the Kathu (east) side of the hill.

Police and rescue workers were quickly at the scene and closed the area immediately surrounding the landslide site. Roadblocks were later set up at Wat Patong on the Patong side and at the Si Kor Intersection in Kathu.

Governor Narong was at the scene in person soon after to see the damage firsthand.

The road closure forced all motorists attempting to reach Patong to travel either through Kamala, to the north of Patong, or via the road over Kata Hill, Chalong Circle to Kata, to the south.

Of note, the Kata Hill road is still waiting to undergo permanent repairs after the outside lane westbound collapsed due to heavy rain runoff undermining the support structure in October 2020.

The need to divert traffic along the alternative routes caused a traffic tailback stretching more than a kilometre long at Chalong Circle, reported the Phuket Info Center, operated under the Phuket Governor’s Office.

Blue Tree Phuket

“To repair the Patong road, we must wait for the ongoing disaster situation [sic] to come to an end,” Phuket Highways chief Mr Yuttana said last night.

“Only then can we go to adjust the area. To speed up temporary repairs to the surface [of the road] will take approximately seven days,” he added.

Mr Yuttana’s decision to delay any inspections of the Patong Hill landslide proved prudent as more earth gave way at the site at 10:57pm last night, causing even more damage to the road.

Although the landslide site is within the administration area of Kathu Municipality, the committee decided to also use budget funds provided by the emergency budget of the Phuket office of the Department of Disaster prevention and Mitigation (DDPM-Phuket).

Kathu Municipality will coordinate with the Phuket Highways office and the Office of Public Works and Town & Country Planning for academic and design support, the committee noted.

BYPASS LANDSLIDE

While disaster officials were responding to the Patong Hill landslide, another landslide occurred on the bypass road just before 6pm last night.

The landslide brought wet earth and a large tree down onto the outside northbound lane of the road.

Again, police were soon to arrive and close the lane to traffic. Disaster officials were able to clear the debris by just after 10:30pm last night.

Amazingly, no injuries were reported in either of the two landslides on Patong Hill and the bypass road. Both roads are usually among the busiest on the island.

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Kurt | 21 October 2022 - 07:27:34

For solid, not temperarily, Patong Hill Rd repairs they should fly in german, swiss or france engineering professionals. Seems the water came from the hill underneath the road deck and flushed away sand, weaking the road deck.. So, have to fix/block underneath waterflow from the hill first.

Fascinated | 20 October 2022 - 13:08:49

if it anything like the Karon- Chalong road its will be years not months- this is a major engineering task and needs professional engineers, not someone's uncle and a few shovels. No doubt there will be plenty of cash off the back of this though.

JohnC | 20 October 2022 - 10:22:12

Lucky the end of the monsoon season is upon us otherwise this would have to wait months to get even a temporary repair done. Bad road construction is always going to be dodgy even in good weather.

Kurt | 20 October 2022 - 09:15:59

Wait rain to stop. Brainstorming, even a navy representive showed up. Outcome, without proper assessment: Very substandard temporarily repairs take 7 days only. Wow, that will do. Just for the not coming tourists? Just for once, make it a quality long lasting job, not a 7 days fixing 'temporarily' one with quarantee on soon future collapse again. 'Brainstorm' again.

 

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