The lanes, at 3.5 metres wide are “international standard,” Phuket Highways Chief Somwong Lohanut told The Phuket News.
However, all that will be separating the vehicles travelling in opposite directions are small orange plastic poles standing just 80cm tall, Somkiet Yimpong, Project Manager at the Phuket office of the Highways Department, confirmed.
Worse, as Mr Somkiet also pointed out, Chalong Underpass is the only underpass on the island that has a curve in the tunnel underground, reducing motorist’s range of visibility even if there are no vehicles immediately in front. (See story here.)
All that was confirmed as the southbound land through the underpass was opened to motorists for a "test drive" from 3pm to 6pm this afternoon (May 30), with Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos and Chalong Mayor Samran Jindaphol both present to wish drivers a safe journey. (See video here.)
To this, The Phuket News asks readers, “What should be done with the current dedication of traffic flow through the Chalong Underpass in order to make it safer?”
Responses available in the poll are:
- Make the traffic flow in one direction from north to south.
- Make the traffic flow in one direction from south to north.
- Make the traffic flow in one direction, but change the direction to suit when it is needed the most
- Keep the tunnel two-way, but install solid dividers to help prevent head-on collisions.
- Ban all heavy vehicles from using the tunnel.
- Do nothing. It is already as safe as it should be.
To vote in the poll, click here.
If your preferred response is not available above, feel free to add it in the comments below.
The poll will remain open to votes until June 6.