Cosmetic upgrade proceeds while government stalls on refilling sand
Pattaya will spend 140 million baht to upgrade landscaping along Pattaya Beach as it waits for government approval of its erosion-repair project.
Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome said Feb. 7 the planting of new trees and gardens, painting and other work will begin in March. The project is split into five zones, with the first zone to be improved running from the Dusit Thani Hotel to Soi 6.
Pattaya City will spend 140 million baht to upgrade landscaping along Pattaya Beach and add another traffic lane the length of Beach Road whilst waiting for government approval of its beach erosion-repair project. Expect traffic snarls along Beach Road when the work begins in March.
The second zone, spanning the beachfront from Soi 6 to Central Road, is planned as the city’s main center for beach activities and will see workers spruce up the dolphin fountain. The third zone, running to Soi 11, will see improvements aimed at maximizing the enjoyment of public spaces, the mayor said, while zone 4, running down to Walking Street, will have gardens installed to serve as backdrops for tourists’ photos and relax after strolling along Walking Street.
Zone 5 was not mentioned.
The project also focuses smaller touches the mayor says will improve the image of the beachfront, such as replacing beach umbrellas to ensure they are all a uniform color along the entire three-kilometer stretch of shoreline.
Itthiphol added that in addition to the cosmetic changes, an additional traffic lane will be added to Beach Road. This will take away about 3 meters of the promenade along the 3 kilometer road, leaving the footpath, although it will be thinner.
The mayor said the landscaping upgrade would be done in parallel to the 380 million baht project to rebuild Pattaya Beach by refilling it with sand from a Rayong estuary. However, the plan has not yet been approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and work may not begin until at least the end of the year.
The 140 million baht the city plans to spend on beautification does come at a cost, however. The mayor said the funds were being diverted from the city’s 500 million baht construction of the new Pattaya football field on Soi Chaiyapruek near the indoor sports stadium. Completion of that facility, which was originally scheduled for the end of this year, is now uncertain.
Finally, Itthiphol said, the city’s crackdown on beach chair vendors is continuing. In addition to standardizing the colors of their umbrellas, the city is studying how many vendors should be allowed to operate and continuing to enforce Chonburi provincial regulations about how much of the sand the vendors can occupy.
The mayor said he hopes to see the beautification completed by year-end. Funds to do similarly on Jomtien Beach have been requested for next year.