BANGKOK — Another day, another detour.
Yellow Line construction begins Friday night and will put the crunch on the ever-lousy Lat Phrao Road when the first phase of the 30-kilometer stretch – linking MRT Lat Phrao to the east and south by way of BTS Samrong – begins construction at 10pm.
Portions of Lat Phrao Road will be closed for the duration of the first phase of construction, which starts tonight and continues for about eight months. That includes several hundred meters of the outermost lanes going both ways.
Several hundred meters of the outermost, westbound lane will be closed between sois Lat Phrao 136 and 134. The same goes for the eastbound side of the road from Soi Lat Phrao 45/1 to Soi Lat Phrao 45.
Transit spokeswoman Naruemon Poomhoi broke down some traffic pro tips for wary end-of-week commuters:
“There’s extra traffic expected, so please try driving along some shortcuts such as going into Soi Lat Phrao 130, which will connect through Soi Ramkhamhaeng 81, or going into Soi Lat Phrao 80 which will go through to Soi Pracharat Bamphen 26.”
The entire, 52-billion-baht extension, including 25 new stations, is expected to take three years and three months to complete, though most major rail projects have seen years of delay.
By the time it reaches BTS Samrong, that station will no longer be the terminus of the Sukhumvit Line. Eight additional stations planned along the Sukhumvit Green Line – which will push 13 kilometers toward the Gulf of Thailand – will be operating by December, Surapong Laoha-Unya of the Bangkok Mass Transit System said last month.
An average of more than 660,000 people ride the BTS each day, a ridership expected to grow by 3 percent to 5 percent annually. BTS profits for 2017 were at 10.4 billion, according to Surapong. He said the BTS plans to purchase 46 more trains to accommodate the additional lines.