Pattaya tunnel finally opens

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More than three years in the making, the Central Road bypass tunnel opened Aug. 25. The 1.9-kilometer tunnel spans four lanes, each 3.5 meters wide.
More than three years in the making, the Central Road bypass tunnel opened Aug. 25. The 1.9-kilometer tunnel spans four lanes, each 3.5 meters wide.

More than three years in the making, the Central Road bypass tunnel opened to a blast of fanfare on Sukhumvit Road.

Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith cut the ribbon on Thailand’s longest underpass Aug. 25 with Chonburi Gov. Pakarathorn Thienchai, Rural Roads Department Chief Pisak Jitvireeyawasin and Pattaya Mayor Anan Charoenchasri.

Arkhom said construction of the tunnel was necessary as Sukhumvit Road is the main artery leading into Pattaya and it is vital the route be as uncongested as possible.

The 1.9-kilometer tunnel spans four lanes, each 3.5 meters wide. A traffic island separates opposing traffic and is decorated inside. The tunnel features a landmark dolphin statue outside.

The 837-million-baht project greatly inconvenienced motorists since it began in 2014 and opened six months late. For now, Pattaya road users may breathe a sigh of relief, but development plans call for similar tunnels at both the North and South road intersections.

The Central Road bypass tunnel is finally open.
The Central Road bypass tunnel is finally open.