Construction initially estimated to begin last month on a traffic-relief tunnel under the intersection of Central and Sukhumvit roads has been postponed until at least late next year as city officials continue to take public comment and the government withholds funds.
At an Oct. 30 public hearing, Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome said the city won’t hire consultants to study construction of the subterranean bypass until next summer, putting any actual construction back at least a year behind the date he estimated in January.
This artist’s rendering shows what the new underpass might look like if completed.
“Currently, studies and information collection, inspection, and design of the central Pattaya underpass have been completed, but we are waiting for approval of the 800 million baht budget from the government. When approval is granted, construction can begin immediately,” Itthiphol said.
The mayor said that as the city waits on money for the central Pattaya project, it plans to take comment on similar proposals for Sukhumvit Road’s intersections with North and Thepprasit roads.
For the job, the city hired Bunpunya Technology Co. and Integrate Trade Engineering Consulting Co. to research, inspect and design the bypasses. Studies are expected to conclude May 24.
Initial approval of the Central-Sukhumvit junction bypass – which calls for four subterranean lanes to be built under the busy intersection to separate through and downtown Pattaya-bound traffic – came in January after several public hearings showing off various designs. Public feedback centered on a roofed roadway, 1,900 meters long, running from Pornprapanimit Road, under Sukhumvit and ending on Central Road.
Only 420 meters of the roadway would be covered. The 20-meter-wide roadway will have air ventilators, drainage, security cameras and a fire extinguisher system. There will also be a U-turn constructed in the middle of the tunnel with and island adorned with dolphin sculptures.