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Is Phuket getting a new Sarasin Bridge?

PHOTO: Sarasin Bridge linking Phuket to Phang Nga

“Rumours suggested the Sarasin Bridge might be demolished to allow large yachts and other vessels to pass safely underneath.”

A local Highways Office official has been forced to clarify the situation involving the possible “removal’ of the Sarasin Bridge, linking Phuket island with the mainland.

Phuket Highways Office Chief Yutthana Phitak has clarified plans to build an updated bridge connecting Phuket to the Phang Nga, but assured that the iconic Sarasin Bridge won’t be demolished.

The new bridge has been discussed although the plans have not been made public. Those that have seen the plans say it would allow larger yachts to pass under the structure (which would only be possible if the older bridges were removed).

This reassurance, not to remove the older Saracen Bridges, came during a meeting to address concerns about the future of the Sarasin Bridge, which has been an important part of Phuket’s history since its construction in 1951.

The bridge, spanning 650 metres (400 metres across the water), officially opened on July 7, 1967, and was the first to link Phuket and Phang Nga. Before that time there was a car ferry service linking the short distance.

It holds a significant place in local folklore, particularly due to the tragic 1978 story of star-crossed lovers Ko Dam Sae Tan, a bus driver, and Kiw Kanchana Sae Ngo, a local teacher, who ended their lives together by jumping from the bridge.

Yutthana mentioned that concerns had been raised on social media following PM Srettha Thavisin’s visit to Phuket last month, where plans for a new bridge were presented but not disclosed publicly. Rumours suggested the Sarasin Bridge might be demolished to allow large yachts and other vessels to pass safely underneath.

“The Highways Department has no intention of demolishing Sarasin Bridge now or in the future in order to carry out a transportation network project. We will need a detailed study and public hearing to gather opinions and assess environmental impacts before proceeding with the project.”

The new bridge project, still in the concept stage, requires a budget of 80 million baht just for the study and design details.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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