City settles on using Rayong soil to refill Pattaya Beach

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Pattaya officials have settled on two possible plans to use sand from the Rayong Estuary as the foundation for the long-term restoration of Pattaya Beach.

At the final public hearing on options to save Pattaya Beach from erosion before it disappears in five years, Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome said the only remaining concern officials had regarded the dust that may ensue from refilling the beach with enough sand to keep it viable for at least 10 years. He said tests showed the sand was compatible with that currently in Pattaya and would not cause dust problems or make the water any murkier than it already is.

The city has been weighing two uses of Rayong Estuary sand. The first, which would be simply a refill of sand, would cost about 300 million baht and be good for about 10 years of use. The second, estimated to cost 500 million baht, involves using sand to build an underwater breakwater to divert the currents and lessen the impact of high tides. Officials estimate it would last no less than a decade.

At a June hearing, engineers estimated 600,000 kg. of sand from Rayong will be needed. Initial plans call for it to be hauled five hours via barge and laid into ten 300-meter spans from North to South Pattaya from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. each night for 18 months.

Itthiphol noted, however, these are still early days for any beach-rescue effort and all plans must be approved by the national Office of Policy and Environment and the Marine Department, which will now be given the city’s recommendations.