Boon Tapanadul, Ombudsman from the national Office of the Ombudsman of Thailand and a former Criminal Court Chief Judge, made the announcement in person in Phuket yesterday.
“The construction will go ahead as the flyovers require smaller budgets and will take a shorter time to complete. They will also be more effective in resolving traffic jams,” Mr Boon said.
The Ombudsman’s Office of Thailand launched a review of the plans to build the two flyovers after complaints from local residents. (See story here.)
The two flyers, together costing about B200 million, will both be “mid-air U-turns”, allowing traffic heading northbound to return southbound unimpeded, and without causing delays to other motorists.
One flyover will be located near the Jeeteng mansion on Thepkrasattri Rd in Koh Kaew, about 1.38km south of the Heroine’s Monument. The other will be at the Nai Yang turn-off on Thepkrasattri Rd, about 3.3km north of the main intersection in Thalang Town. (See story here.)
Raksagecha Chaechai, Secretary-General of Office of the Ombudsman of Thailand, explained that the residents called for the national Ombudsman’s office to review the plans.
“They asked for us to review and compare the construction plans, and asked to change the flyovers into tunnels or normal u-turns,” he said.
Mr Boon explained his decision to allow the flyovers to go ahead. “Normal u-turns need more space so cars can turn around, which means the plans will need to widen the area occupied by the road, and the budget will double,” Mr Boon said.
“Construction of an underpass at each site would need more than seven times the budget and they would take longer to build,” he added.
However, Mr Boon added, “We will keep an eye on this. Officials need to listen to people who are affected by the construction. Also, officials need to better inform of construction projects so the people have a clear understanding of what is happening and why.”