By The Nation
The Highway Department's Maesot Highway District Office and SeeSang Karn Yotha Co Ltd, which is the bid-winning contractor for the project, on Wednesday started detonated the 100kg of explosives to blow up large rocks in two spots near the highway's 31km marker, known as Pha Raka.
To make way for this work and ensure safety, a 26km-long section between the 23km marker and the 50km marker were closed for traffic for more than one hour. After the explosion, workers also moved in to clear the rocks away from the road and check for safety before allowing the traffic to resume on the highway - the whole process which takes about 30 minutes.
The Pha Raka, which had large cracks on rocks that convinced officials to clear them away during the road expansion procedure, had a total of 30,000 tonnes of rock to be blasted - each explosion session of which could take up to 2,000 tonnes. Workers would take at least three months - with a long break during the Songkran Festival - to complete the task. Motorists are advised to call the highway department's hotline 1175 to get information on the Mae Sot-Tak highway.