Chalong’s unwanted underpass

PHUKET has its thing for underpass it may seem; after successfully complete the one near Central Festival, as well as the one in front of Tesco Lotus, in the Sam Kong area, it is the turn of the sub-district of Chalong to suffer the consequences of such an enormous project.

The Chalong’s underpass project was signed off back in July 2015 and was scheduled for completion in September 2017. However, the start of the project was massively delayed due to the need of enlarging the road, therefore having to acquire new land and moving back the power poles by about a meter in each direction.

Fast forward to today, February 21, 2018, and the project has reached a mere 30% completion rate. The government has confirmed the project should be completed by April 2019, giving us inhabitant of Phuket and particularly, Chalong, another 14 months of silent suffering.

The route from Rawai to Chalong circle seems to be the most affected, and it is not uncommon to have to wait 60 to 90 minutes in the traffic jam. Authorities urge motorists to use alternative routes, such as the left street named Suksan 1 to lead to the Chalong-Kata hill, or to divert completely to Kata using the hillside road.

We certainly hope this 500-million-baht construction will be finished on time so that residents and visitors alike can enjoy an easy-to-access part of the island, famous for its viewpoints and delicious seafood restaurants.

And if you are looking for entertainment, feel free to Google “Chalong Underpass” and have a look through the numerous articles that have been posted by the local news and magazines; always a good read!

By Nattha Thepbamrung