Locals in the Muang district of Samut Sakhon province have called on the government to speed up construction on the notoriously congested Rama II Road, which is a major gateway to the South, complaining that the construction seemed to go on forever.
Some 20 people gathered at the pedestrian bridge in front of Wat Phanthai Norasing in Tambon Phanthai Norasing, carrying banners calling on the government to pay attention to their grievances caused by the ongoing construction.
A leader of the group showed a copy of an open letter to the prime minister. The letter said locals living along Rama II Road have been suffering from serious congestion since the start of construction work to improve and expand the road.
The letter said the construction has been going on with no sign of completion, and the congestion caused by the construction also affected the country’s economy because Rama II Road is a major gateway to the South.
The Bt2.31-billion project aims to improve a 11.7-kilometre section of Rama II Road from the Bang Khunthian intersection to the Ekkachai intersection and expand the number of lanes from three to four in one direction and the frontage roads from two lanes to three lanes in both directions. Two bridges will also be expanded, an elevated U-turn is to be built and a new bridge is to be constructed over the southern railway.
Apichart Prairungruang, president of the Land Transport Federation of Thailand, said the construction is for just a 11-kilometre section of the road but work has been slow and has taken almost two years now.
Apichart said the delay affected transport and tourism so the people wanted to draw the government’s attention to the issue.
Krit Suriyapol, a representative of the local residents, said earlier it took him about 20 minutes to drive from home to work but now it takes about an hour.
Lt-Colonel Wutthichai Thaweekanchanawat, traffic inspector of Muang Samut Sakhon Police Station, said police were monitoring the traffic situation on the road throughout the day and were trying their best to alleviate the congestion. But the construction work limited police’s capacity to tackle traffic congestion, especially from Bangkok’s Samae Dam district to Samut Sakhon province’s Muang district.
He said the construction work at the flyover over the railway in the Khok Krabua area caused a bottleneck that caused long lines of vehicles.
He said his police station was coordinating with the Samae Dam Police Station to try to minimise the congestion.