Tunnel, bridge projects divided, underpass to open ‘soon’ – PBTA

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PBTA President Ekasit Ngampichet (left) said the opening of the Central Road bypass tunnel will not be delayed by construction of a wheelchair-accessible overpass, as city councilman Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn looks on.
PBTA President Ekasit Ngampichet (left) said the opening of the Central Road bypass tunnel will not be delayed by construction of a wheelchair-accessible overpass, as city councilman Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn looks on.

The opening of the Central Road bypass tunnel will not be delayed by construction of a wheelchair-accessible overpass, the head of the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association said.

Speaking at the PBTA’s May 22 meeting at the Grand Sole Hotel, Ekasit Ngam­pichet said the link tying the 800-million-baht Sukhumvit Road underpass to the pedestrian overpass near the Redemptorist Vocational School for Persons with Disabilities has been severed and they are now separate projects.

As a result, the tunnel will open “soon” he said.

For most of May, contractors have been testing ventilation and lighting systems, two crucial pieces of the longest underpass tunnel in Thailand. Pattaya officials told the PBTA that once safety tests are complete, the Department of Rural Roads will give the OK to open the tunnel to the public.

The pedestrian overpass, meanwhile, remains bogged down with completion not expected until the end of the year.