R118 Road Works

DavidFL

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Just a few pics to highlight the ongoing road works on R118 between Doi Saket & Mae Kachan.

The work that is going on is impressive as is the amount of machinery & staff out there.

In late February there is about 2 kms of annoying dirt
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it's best if you don't get caught up behind the water truck on some snot
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Replacing the old bridges
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The traffic 2 days ago
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eventually this will be a motorway, so get out there & enjoy the good ol biking roads while you can.

In the wet season you may want to avoid 118 & use either 1001 & 1150 or R107 & R109 to travel to / from Chiang Rai,
 

DavidFL

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18 August 2018
The heavy rain of the last couple of days has finally taken its toll of the ongoing road works - the road is cut.

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it maybe a day or two before they sort the mess out.
If you are on a road bike use
R1001 & R1150 Chiang Mai - Phrao - Wiang Pa Pao
or
R107 Chiang Mai - Fang R1089 Fang - Mae Chan
or
R107 Chiang Mai - Fang R109 Fang - Mae Suai
if you are going to / from Chiang Rai.
 

DavidFL

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14th March 2019

En route to Chiang Mai from Chiang Khong I ventured down the 118 for a laugh on the black plonker DTracker 250...
It's not much chop on a DTracker bouncing along down that road, but I was greatly pleased I added some Comfi Cheeks seat pads to the seat before I left.
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I didn''t quite get them set up in the perfect position for the crown jewells on the way down, but guaranteed it will be better next ride. I know where it hurts most!
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Now onto the crusty dusty it. The road works run for 11 kms, right to the ridge line now, starting / finishing at the R1152 turn off.

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I understand the construction company is being fined for slow work & you have to agree, their performance is abysmal and not one bridge is yet complete. Just more excavation and digging up of the road!
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Fortunately I had a good run down & only encountered the water truck going up, in the opposite direction.

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The traffic still builds up & it is "slow going" if you don;t get a decent run at t.

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There are actually two very short sections of asphalt, but sadly only a couple of hundred metres each.
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DavidFL

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The road works are still ongoing.
I recently did it at dusk / in the dark.

Heading south from Chiang Rai, the first road works start just after the Mae Kachan hot springs, then are intermittent for a few kms, before it is all under reconstruction.
The total distance would be about 45 kms.
I didn't find any of the road works difficult or tricky actually, and there is actually some nice new asphalt in there, but the issue is the bank up of traffic that slows to a crawl in places & is sometimes single lane through the road works.
I recall when you could get from Cnx to the hot springs in 45 minutes, but now it probably takes an hour to get to from Doi Saket - Mae Kachan. Grrh.
 
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Ian Bungy

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Yes I rode that way to Check it out after Our Pua Dinner. What a mess. Such a long distance under construction but nothing actually being Completed? Extremely Bad Management. Should finish one section at a time. But same all over Thailand at the moment, Look at Chiang Mai? Road works everywhere but never completely finish a piece before they start another bit? Frustrating and annoying for everyone! Can never keep a Vehicle Clean as all the Road works are Filthy, Dirty Buggers!
 

canthai

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Apr 8, 2015
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One thing I learned in my years of placer mining .. give the water a place to go, or it will go where you do not want it. Mined 65 meters below the level of the river and had no issues.
 

DavidFL

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Update 10th January 2020

The original uphill section on the Chiang MAi side of the mountain crossing that was dug up & took a couple of years to complete is now finished.

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Yeehar you might say, but they have dug up a lot more now. Starting from just after Terminal 118 coffee, heading north.

The good news though is the contractor seems quite sensible (so far) & has left the old lane in tact in many places, whilst building the new lanes alongside the original road.

However it is still less than enjoyable for about 40 kms, due to the build up of traffic.

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Then at the provincial ridgeline, they have now dug up the road heading north towards the hot springs.
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If you get caught behind the water truck it wont be any fun going down that long hill!

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Enjoy the thrill for a bit longer yet.
 
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ZCM

Ol'Timer
Jun 23, 2011
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I noticed a lot of completed sections of the road on my ride through the 118 last month.
Also a new hot spring area, which seems to have only just opened.
This is my video of the section (December 2019)
 

blackb15

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Oct 11, 2009
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It will be good when it’s finished as its not fun especially when your following the water lorry with a pick up trying to check your tyre tread
 

DavidFL

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Update 29 August 2020

A lot more asphalt & less dirt, but the dirt sections are annoying because of the traffic still.

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The turn of to the Doi Saket Hot springs & R3005
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Not all the bridges are completed, still!
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Why the road works are annoying & unpleasant..trucks & a build up of traffic.
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The good stuff
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From the ridgeline most of the road to Mae Kachan hot springs is all 4-lane.

It is going to be a superb race track once it is finished.
Once upon a time on the AT it was 40 minutes from the Cnx super to the Mae Kachan hot springs, before all the traffic & traffic lights.
When it is complete I wonder what the time will be once you get away from the San Sai trafic lights Google Maps
 
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ZCM

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Jun 23, 2011
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When it is complete I wonder what the time will be once you get away from the San Sai traffic lights Google Maps
They might stick in two-way speed cameras, though? So might be that many will still not be able to make it speedy unless willing to risk a fine. Such is Murphy's Law! With my bike, I am not much a fan of the 118 in any case, but will be relieved when it is complete so that the bulk of the traffic will continue use it more than the 107.
 

DavidFL

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Update 10th April 2021

Great news - only 200 metres of dirt left to ride at the south Doi Saket end, as you go through the mountain pass.
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The 4-lane dual carriageway is not complete all the way, but you don't need to ride on any dirt, other than the 200 metres at the Doi Saket end.
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You can carry some good speed on the road now, however you should note that there are a couple of corners that don't bend so smoothly, but rather pivot & turn, to catch you out if you're not paying attention.
 
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