City overpass 'will be finished this year'
Pandemic fallout delays BMA project
The Covid-19 pandemic has delayed work on a new overpass from Rama III Road to Na Ranong junction, a Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) source said, adding it is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Construction is just over 60% complete, said the source at the BMA's Public Works Department.
The contractor encountered labour shortages due to the pandemic, resulting in missed deadlines.
In addition, highway pillars for an Expressway Authority of Thailand (Exat) project near Penang Market have run into construction problems.
The department and Exat are reviewing blueprints of their projects to ensure safety measures are in place for each one.
The Public Works Department hired Sahakarn Wisavakorn Co Ltd to build the overpass with a budget of 1.34 billion baht, beginning on Sept 25, 2018. It was originally planned to be finished by last November.
The overpass is being built to alleviate traffic bottlenecks around Na Ranong intersection.
Under the project, a four-lane overpass -- two in each direction -- will replace the existing overpass which starts at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, crossing Na Ranong intersection and ending on Rama III Road around the market.
The project is divided into three sections.
The first, a 1.9-kilometre overpass, will be built on the same routes and continue from Rama III Road around the market to nearby Nonsi Wittaya School.
Next, the two flyovers along Rama III Road will be replaced with two double-lane flyovers some 550 metres long.
Finally, a one-way flyover spanning 600m with two traffic lanes will be added along Rama II Road to Sunthorn Kosa Road near the Port Authority of Thailand Stadium in Khlong Toei district.
The BMA will partially launch the overpass with the third section expected to open first in July.
If all goes according to plan, the second section should be available for public use around September, the agency said.
The overpass is expected to be finished by the end of this year.