Pattaya locals object to planned Sukhumvit-South roads tunnel

A tunnel or overpass is being planned to cross the Sukhumvit-South Pattaya Road and the Sukhumvit-Thepprasit Road.

About 100 South Pattaya residents are objecting to the proposed construction of traffic-bypass tunnel at Sukhumvit and South road, claiming it will flood and be too disruptive to their lives.

The group presented a written complaint at the local office of Pattaya-area MP Kawinnart Takee Sept. 7 after their objections fell on deaf ears at Pattaya City Hall.

On July 9, Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome chaired the first public hearing on how to rebuild the South-Sukhumvit intersection, with a tunnel topping the list of options.

Project consultants laid out several options for the junction. The first of those was a tunnel similar to the 1.9-kilometer-long Central Road tunnel that spans four lanes, each 3.5 meters wide.

The first option is an underpass that will run from South Pattaya intersection to past the Thepprasit intersection.

The second option was a redesigned two-kilometer junction divided into four lanes with two for traffic headed toward Bangkok and two toward Sattahip.

A third option is an overpass on Sukhumvit Road that basically would be an above-ground version of the tunnel plan and would stretch to Thepprasit Road.

Finally, consultants suggested both an overpass and tunnel connecting South and Thepprasit roads.

The third option is to build overpasses running over the intersections at South Pattaya and Thepprasit Roads.

Residents claimed, without evidence, that the underground tunnel would flood. The same fears were raised initially about the Central Road tunnel but it has never flooded.

Locals seemed more upset about the construction, which would last years. The 100 people said they’d be directly affected and want Pattaya to outright terminate the project or find a less disruptive alternative.

More public hearings are planned.