Pattaya hopes to begin work on Central-Sukhumvit bypass in November

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Pattaya officials are hoping a proposal to build a tunnel to relieve traffic congestion at the intersection of Central and Sukhumvit roads will be approved by November.

At the second public hearing on the Sukhumvit bypass project Aug. 1, Arun Sangchai from the Department of Rural Roads Office 3 said, if approved, construction could begin in November and run for two years.

An artist’s rendering of the proposed tunnel under the Sukhumvit and Central Road intersection. An artist’s rendering of the proposed tunnel under the Sukhumvit and Central Road intersection.

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 – is just one of four the city wants to see built. Other bypasses would be constructed at the Sukhumvit terminus of North, South and Thepprasit roads.

However, consultants hired last year from King Monkut’s University of Technology determined that Central Road was the most congested of all four intersections and should be the first bypass built, Arun said.

A feasibility study is currently underway and environment-impact surveys still need to be completed before the proposal is submitted to the Cabinet for funding. However, officials say the importance of Pattaya as a tourist destination and its proximity to Laem Chabang Port means the odds will be good the project is approved in order to facilitate tourism and logistics.

At the hearing, rendering of the Central Road bypass went on display. The 18-meter-wide roadway would run 975 meters in length and run from Central Road to Soi Pornprapanimit. Signs, sculptures, grass and flowers will be added to beautify the bypass. Two U-turn points will also be added.

At this stage, it was not made known how the city might handle the flooding problem in regards to a tunnel.