Bangkok traffic jams to ease from Monday as Fai Chai tunnel opens
Bangkok drivers should find things easier at a notorious congestion blackspot tomorrow, when a 600-metre-long underpass opens at Fai Chai Intersection after 13 years of construction work.
City governor Chadchart Sittupunt said the tunnel under the Fai Chai Intersection in Bangkok Noi district will open on Monday from 5am to 10pm to alleviate traffic jams.
The tunnel will be closed from 10pm to 5am until construction is finalised. Chadchart did not say when the tunnel would be opened to traffic on a round-the-clock basis.
The Bt788-million project, which is being carried out by Kamphaeng Phet Wiwat Construction, began in October 2009. However, construction progress has been delayed by disputes over its size, design and overlap with the Blue Line’s Bang Sue-Tha Phra section. The disputes prompted several revisions of the contract.
Chadchart said the two-lane tunnel’s construction took 13 years because of disputes and negotiations with the Mass Rapid Transit Authority, which owns the Blue Line.
Chadchart said that after being elected governor in May, he instructed the Public Works Department to speed up the project to reduce congestion during rush hours.
He was speaking to reporters on Sunday during his trip to inspect the tunnel.
The governor said engineers would test the tunnel structure for safety on Sunday night before it opened to motorists on Monday.
“If Public Works officials detect any issues, the opening will be further delayed,” he added.
Chadchart also inspected progress of construction of the 1.34-billion-baht overpass at the busy Na Ranong Intersection connecting Ratchadapisek with Sunthorn Kosa Road, Na Ranong Road and Rama III Road.
The Na Ranong overpass is also due to open on Monday at 5am.