According to the department, the tunnel will be temporarily made available from tomorrow to ease traffic congestion along Prachin Buri-Nakhon Ratchasima (304) Highway, the main artery connecting the East and the Northeast, during the festive season, which starts on Thursday (Apr 12).
Currently, only two of four lanes are available on the highway’s 192 to 195-kilometre markers where the construction of the tunnel and overpasses is underway.
Atichart Boonyoung, chief of the Prachin Buri Highway District, said the tunnel is scheduled for completion late this year and nearly 80% of the construction work is finished.
On the highway, warning signs have also been installed on construction sites along a 30km section covering Na Di district of Prachin Buri to Wang Nam Khieo district in Nakhon Ratchasima to prevent traffic accidents during the holiday period, he said.
Also yesterday, a contractor supervising the 165km Bang Pa-in-Nakhon Ratchasima motorway project sped up efforts to temporarily reopen traffic lanes by midnight tomorrow as ordered by Nakhon Ratchasima Governor Wichien Chantharanothai.
The measure has also been taken at all construction sites across the province to cope with a large number of travellers who flock to their hometowns to celebrate the Thai New Year festival.
With the exception of fuel tankers, all lorries also have been barred from travelling after midnight on Wednesday (Apr 11).
Mr Wichien said traffic congestion was expected in several areas including the road linking Muak Lek district in Saraburi to Pak Chong district in Nakhon Ratchasima; Lam Takhong in Sikhiu and Pak Chong districts; Pak Thong Chai district; a bypass in Muang district; and Khon district.
Police and rescue workers would be stationed across these areas to facilitate motorists, he said, adding that additional security checkpoints would be set up throughout the province.
At the provincial bus terminal, the frequency of Nakhon Ratchasima-Bangkok inter-provincial buses will be increased from 200 trips to 400 trips a day, while the number of non-regular route public buses will also be increased to 60 per day to handle the passenger influx.
Meanwhile, Khon Kaen’s famous annual golden flowers event kicked off yesterday to celebrate the New Year festival.
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