The new Srisoonthorn Bridge linking Phuket to mainland Thailand and Phang Nga Province is open. To mark the event, Phuket Highways Chief made the first trip across.
The new Srisoonthorn Bridge which links Phuket Island to Phang Nga Province and mainland Thailand has finally opened to traffic.
The bridge was scheduled to open at the beginning of June this year but was delayed due to “last-minute changes in the work plan.”
To mark the opening Phuket Provincial Highways Office Chief, Arun Sanae, made the first trip across the 300 million (US$10 million) Baht structure.
But, although the bridge is now open, fifty per cent of the left hand lane will remain closed until renovations on the existing Sarasin Bridge have been completed. The old Sarasin Bridge is being converted into a tourist attraction.
The constructor, Italian-Thai Development PCL., is expected to hand the project over to the Phuket Provincial Highways Office by the end of August 2011.
However, the road connecting the southbound carriageway to Phuket Island has yet to be completed because one elderly couple are refusing to vacate their rented house and land. The house needs to be demolished so that the connecting road can be built.
“We will ask the landowner to ask the couple to move out of the house and we will complete the road,” commented Arun Sanae.
Pending a resolution, a temporary road has been proposed which will bypass the couple’s home.
Approved on October 28th 2009 with a budget of 378 million baht (US$12.5 million), the 655 metre Srisoonthorn Bridge was dubbed ‘Sarasin Bridge 2’ during its construction phase.
The forty one year old Sarasin Bridge is well known in Phuket and throughout Thailand as a ‘lovers leap’. In 1987 a Thai feature film was made based on the story of the first two lovers to make the tragic leap from the structure. The title translates as simply; ‘Sarasin, the Bridge of Love’.