Final testing is underway on the 837-million-baht Central Road bypass tunnel, but when it will open remains anyone’s guess.
Somchai Panpao, an architect on the Sukhumvit Road project, said June 2 that construction is complete, but security, lighting and drainage systems are still being tested.
Deputy Mayor Bandit Khunajak said May 30 that the decision on when the tunnel will open is up to the contractors and the Department of Rural Roads. Once they are certain all systems are working perfectly, they will give the green light.
The tunnel is 470 meters wide and 1.9 kilometers long and is Thailand’s longest underpass. Fully packed with technology, closed-circuit cameras are installed throughout to prevent crime, and to provide aid during emergencies. There are two smart CCTV cameras that will send an emergency signal if they detect any collisions. Security staff will be on standby around the clock.
Somchai added a “jet fan” to power the ventilation system, which also remains under testing. They also are doing final checks on fire sensors and smoke detectors. The tunnel has six stations where high-pressure water hoses are available in case of fire.
The tunnel is lit with more than 1,000 lamps up to 400 watts bright. The walls also have been soundproofed.
Answering the most common question – will the tunnel flood like everywhere else in Pattaya – Somchai said the entrances to the tunnel are in the shape of an “overturned pan” so that water doesn’t flow down. In case of extreme floods, pumps have been installed to catch any overflow.