P-REA Secretary Phattanan Phisutvimol met Phuket Highways Office Chief Somwang Lohanut on Friday (Jan 25) and presented a written proposal for the Phuket Highways Office to go ahead with the construction of the U-turn flyover at Mook Dok Khao north of Thalang Town, whilst the environmental impact assessment (EIA) is carried out again for the U-turn flyover to be built at Koh Kaew.
Progress on the flyovers at both sites ground to a halt after it was realised that the Koh Kaew flyovers were to be built in close proximity to two sites of historical value – a fact not mentioned in the public-feedback meetings when carrying out the EIA for the project.
Subsequently, all progress on the project stalled whilst fresh EIA public-feedback meetings are being held to gauge public opinion and support for the flyovers.
At last report, public opinion was to not have flyovers at the Koh Kaew site, but instead have “on-the-ground” U-turns that will require the Highways Department to acquire more land along both sides of the road.
“If we want to separate the project into two parts, we will have to start the process all again as all the flyovers were presented as one project,” he said.
The EIA process will have to start from the beginning and the government concession tender process will all have to be scrapped and started again.
Even the royal decree formalising the pub project would have to be repealed, he said.
“If we restarted the process, it would take about a year to reach the point where we are now,” he said.
Mr Somwang confirmed that public-feedback meetings have voted for all of the flyovers – including those planned to be built north of Thalang Town – are now to be ground-level U-turns. However, we do not conclude that it should be flyovers or ground-level.
“We have requested a royal decree in order to expropriate the land required at both sites,” he added.
However, Mr Somwang warned, “The expropriation may take a long time if the landowners do not consent, but we must do everything in full accordance with the law.”