Another Bangkok road develops a crater

16 Apr 2012

Bangkok’s continuing problems with road subsidence continued last week when another hole appeared on one of its principal arterial routes. Motorists on Phaya Thai Road last Wednesday morning were shocked when it suddenly developed a crater.   

The 60-centimetre section in the middle of the four-lane highway collapsed leaving a hole that drivers had to negotiate around. Police and council workers were called and quickly arrived on the scene just outside the Bangkok Arts and Cultural Centre.

They set up traffic cones around the crater and the middle section of the road was closed off. Traffic flow was badly disrupted by the crater, but Pathum Wan District Office spokesperson Pavinee Amarttad said the road surface around the hole was solid and not in danger of collapsing.

The spokesperson added that the hole would be shored up and repaired, and that inspection engineers would try and ascertain what had caused the road to collapse in the first place.

Over the past month, two other roads have collapsed in Bangkok, with many city residents blaming last year’s devastating floods. On 18 March, a five-metre hole appeared in the central Rama IV Road. A 50-strong team of Drainage and Sewerage Department engineers and workers checked the collapse.

The collapse was believed to have been caused by leakage in a 40-year old tunnel under the road. A robot was used to survey the pipe for structural damage. The pipe was sound and the team were unable to attribute a specific cause to the road’s collapse.

Earlier this month, a section of Tok Road in the city district of Bang Kholaem buckled and broke up. City works engineers used ground-penetrating radar devices and found there was a 50-centimetre gap below the surface where underground pipes had not been properly connected.

Tags: Bangkok road crater

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