The Nakhon Ratchasima Office of Department of Highways says the Friendship Highway passing Sikiew district is now passable for all vehicles after the flood inundating Kilometre 94 and 96 has receded.

Assurance from the provincial highway office this morning came as motorists are concerned about the flooded stretches of the highway as traffic is expected to be heavy at the weekend.

Many motorists are expected to drive out of the capital late this afternoon using the Friendship or Mitraparb, the main highway to the northeastern provinces.

The highway office said now the stretch at Km markers 94 and 96 is submerged by 10-15 centimetres of floodwater, passable by all vehicles.

However motorists are advised to drive slowly while passing the flooded stretches fir safety reason.

However the office said unless there is no rain today, all vehicles could travel on the highway.

Yesterday the two stretches that pass the Lamtakong dam from both Pak Chong and Sikiew were impassable for almost all vehickes, except heavy duty trucks.

The outbound traffic of this highway at KM markers 93 95 km were heavily submerged by flashflood flowing down from Khao Chan Ngarm hill and flooded.

Flood levels were 60 80 cm high on the two stretches.

As a result, small vehicles are unable to pass resulting in a traffic jam stretching back 10 kilometres.

Authorities have been forced to temporarily close of a lane in the inbound section from the 90 � 95 km marker so that outbound traffic can be redirected there to alleviate the jam.

In an attempt to drain off flood waters, highway authorities had to bring in a back-hoe tractor to widen a 100 meter stretch of a drainage trench on the inbound side so that flood waters could flow into the Lamtakong canal.

But the effort was hindered by the fact that water levels in the canal was still very high which allowed only very small amounts of water to be drained off.

Notices were then erected to advise motorists to temporarily avoid using the highway and turn off into the road passing in front of the Kaset Sikiew University instead as this will allow them to go through the Klong Phai intersection.

Another alternative was the road which leads to the Kud Muang � Chai Badarn intersection in Lopburi province.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

By tladmin