Rev. Michael Picharn Jaiseri, president of the Father Ray Foundation, said June 18 that the 15 million baht budget for the bridge servicing the Redemptorist School for Persons with Disabilities finally was approved and bidding for a contractor should begin in 2016, followed shortly after by construction.
Rev. Michael Picharn Jaiseri announces that the 15 million baht budget for a wheelchair-accessible pedestrian bridge over Sukhumvit Road is slated to begin in 2016.
School administrators called for the bridge as more than 300 disabled students attend the facility, many of them needing to traverse the busy highway. The Transport Ministry in January 2013 agreed to fund Thailand’s first crossover bridge outfitted with elevators in the area to ensure their safety.
The crossover was proposed as part of the planned project to construct a traffic-bypass tunnel under Sukhumvit Road at Central Road. Repeatedly delayed, that project finally secured funding from the Department of Rural Roads, which earlier this year released the funds for the first three-year phase of construction.
Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome announced with great fanfare April 3 that work on the tunnel would begin this year. Quietly, that date - which followed similar announced start dates in 2010, 2011 and 2012 - has slipped again at least another 12 months.
While school officials painted a rosy picture about the construction schedule for the crossover-bridge, Pattaya City Councilman Rattanachai Sutidechanai warned there could be more delays.
The bridge is planned for the 145-kilometer marker on Sukhumvit. But Rattanachai said if neighbors complain, work would have to stop and changes implemented, delaying completion.