Bali Hai expansion being studied

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Pattaya is mulling three options for vastly expanding Bali Hai Pier to accommodate ferries, passenger boats and more speedboats.
Pattaya is mulling three options for vastly expanding Bali Hai Pier to accommodate ferries, passenger boats and more speedboats.

Pattaya is mulling three options for vastly expanding Bali Hai Pier to accommodate ferries, passenger boats and more speedboats.

Atirach Kanokwechayan, director of the Chonburi Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning, outlined the three options being considered by Consultants of Technology Co. during the project’s second public hearing at the Aiyara Grand Hotel Aug. 15.

The consultants, as part of their 20-million-baht contract, will recommend by February the best option for Pattaya based on topographical factors, engineering challenges and impacts on the local environment and economy. All the options would include four ferry piers, four for passenger boats and eight speedboat piers.

In all, the pier could accommodate up to 50,000 people a day over a span of about a half-kilometer. Bali Hai currently serves up to 30,000 people a day.

The first option would see construction of a 520-meter pier west of Bali Hai, between the current speedboat anchorages and jetty. Its proximity to the anchorage would create problems for water traffic during construction, however.

The second and third options place the new pier east of Bali Hai. Option 2 would be 570 meters long but is far enough from Bali Hai that its construction wouldn’t pose any obstacles to traffic. It also would be able to adjust its docking areas depending on wind and waves.

However, the pier’s location would impact Pattaya’s planned redevelopment of Bali Hai under the Eastern Economic Corridor project.

The third option would be the smallest at 470 meters but it would be directly connected to Bali Hai, allowing better coordination of services. However, its proximity also would impact the Bali Hai EEC project.

The consultants noted the third option also would require additional construction at Bali Hai before the new pier could be built.

Most of meeting attendants seemed to prefer the second and third options, but had questions about facilities and safety.

Those questions will be answered at future hearings and by the final report.