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Phuket Highways boss flames underpass contractor, orders urgent road repairs

PHUKET: The Director of the Highways Department Phuket office, Samak Lueduanghad, has ordered the contractor for Samkong Underpass to urgently make major road repairs to make the roads past the construction site safe.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 26 August 2015, 12:16PM

He has also criticised the contractor, Civil Engineering Co Ltd, and the government tender bidding process for failing to complete the project on time.

“We have expanded the lanes [past the site] as much as we could to ease traffic congestion, but we have still run into many problems,” he said during an inspection of the site yesterday (August 25).

“We were aware that when the project started that excavation of the land and the condition of the road surface would be issues we would have to deal with. What worries us the most now is the condition of the road, which must be improved for the sake of safety. We have to fix the damage to the road fast.”

Mr Samak apologised for the project not being completed on time.

“When the construction company signed the contract to finish the underpass on time and agreed to furnish it with all safety measures required by the Highways Department, we hoped the company would be able to deliver that.

“Now we have been told that the company did its best to wrap up the project on time, but they have exceeded their deadline. They have failed to deliver the project on time,” he said.

The original deadline for opening the underpass was June 25, 2015. However, an unforeseen issue with excavating past municipal drains saw the deadline moved to August 2015. (See story here.)

The company has now failed that, and only last month informed The Phuket News that the underpass was now not expected to be complete until March 2016 (See story here.)

Mr Samak also flamed the selection process for the government contract to build the underpass.

“Many construction companies are capable of getting the work done, but they did not bid for the project and government officials in charge of the hiring did not look for the best construction companies with the highest bid – but only focused on the qualified companies that had the lowest bids,” he said.

“All over the country, big projects like this always face many problems. We feel sorry for residents and tourists that have to go through this because we have narrow roads and do not have alternative routes past this point.

“We want this project completed as quickly as possible, but everything must be done in accordance with the agreement between us and the contractor.

“Our apologies to everyone affected by this project. We have ordered the contractor to wrap up the project and open the underpass as soon as possible,” Mr Samak added.



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Kurt | 26 July 2016 - 16:23:00

Original deadline: June 2015, now it is July 2016.
Any bell ringing? 
Many more months to go, seen the few number of workers.

I am always laughing when a thai official from his aircon office 'orders' something.
It means nothing, just looks nice as a statement.
And everybody knows. 
So, it is dumb and such official appears to be a clown.
For sure with this underpass project.


BigA | 27 August 2015 - 07:32:40

This shows how much the authorities actually care about our (farang)opinion especial if you are not have the right to vote,its like everywhere else.I will stop pay tax, at least they not thrown away my money  Horst

Fritz Pinguin | 26 August 2015 - 23:34:19

Instead of flaming the contractor there should be a flaming of the ones who contracted the project. As almost everybody commenting these projects a normal (ungreased) mind would have decided in favour of a overpass.

benvenuto | 26 August 2015 - 17:45:23

..and this contractor (Civil Engineering) with a deadline of june 2015 got a 2 month extension now estimates (!!) finishing a further 7 months late. What a joke and this is the same contractor who will start work on the Chalong underpass in sept "and if not complete by September 14, 2017, Civil Engineering Co.Ltd will be fined around B1.3 million" What an even bigger joke. ...

hartmut | 26 August 2015 - 17:12:15

A flyover would have been finished months age with less disruption of traffic, but there is a chance it would have fallen down due to questionable construction.

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