Mountain tunnels for Phuket
- Published: 24/04/2013 at 09:45 PM
- Online news:
The Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT) proposed on Wednesday to bore a pair of traffic tunnels through the Nark Kerb mountain to link Kathu and Patong beaches.
Photo courtesy of the Expressway Authority of Thailand.
EXAT governor Aiyanat Tinarpai made the proposal at a public meeting that attracted around 300 residents and advocates from local public and private agencies.
The public forum at a Phuket hotel sought to sound out local feeling about a project that could cut travel between the island's two most popular beaches from 14km to three.
The plan calls for carving a pair of tunnels, each 3.07km long - one for traffic in each way. In addition each tunnel would have a special lane for motorcyles and an evacuation port in case of a tsunami.
The proposal for the tunnels came from the Patong Muang Municipality, and was approved at a mobile cabinet at the resort town in March, last year.
A feasibility study is under way under EXAT supervision. The agency will submit its findings and conclusion to the ministry of transport by the end of next year.
The mostly likely conclusion will call for construction of tunnels from near APK Resort and Spa on Pang-Muang, Soi Kor Road in Kathu district, running to the end of the Road No 4029, a two-lane road which is currently the only road into Patong from the direction of Kathu, and already has heavy traffic.
The project would replace a 14km trip along a winding and sometimes dangerous road, whose tight curves through the Nark Kerd hills have caused numerous traffic accidents.
Current estimates call for a 6 billion baht investment to fund the tunnels.
About the author
- Writer: Achadtaya Chuenniran