Underpass project put back on table

Underpass project put back on table

Nakhon Ratchasima - The Highways Department is dusting off a previously rejected project to build an underpass in Muang district, hoping it will win public approval this time by connecting the proposed route to another underpass project nearby.

A public forum was held yesterday in central Nakhon Ratchasima to present plans to revive the underpass project at a busy Nakhon Ratchasima intersection.

The forum, attended by about 500 people from the public and private sectors who included local leaders and the general public, was chaired by deputy governor Thanapol Chantharanimi.

Highways Department engineers revealed details of the project, the benefits it is expected to bring and the environmental impact assessment findings.

Pornchai Silarom, director of the Provincial Highways Office 2, said the underpass project at the Nakhon Ratchasima intersection was shelved several years ago because of resistance from local residents.

Now, the department is reviving the project, expecting to costs around 800 million baht, to connect it to another intersection project to be built at the nearby Pradoke intersection.

He said if the two underpasses could be linked up, it would likely win public approval as it would relieve heavy traffic congestion at both intersections, which are major traffic crossing points in downtown Muang district.

It would also help shorten driving time and reduce road accidents in the areas.

Mr Pornchai explained the two intersections could not be expanded at ground level because adjacent communities are built around them, leaving very limited space to widen the road.

"That's why we're bringing back the Nakhon Ratchasima underpass project for the people to consider again," he said.

If approved, the Nakhon Ratchasima intersection underpass could be constructed at the same time as the Pradoke underpass, which is estimated to be worth 1.2 billion baht.

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