Delayed nearly a year by the coronavirus pandemic, a 166-million-baht facelift of Pattaya Beach got underway over the weekend with hopes it will be completed by November 2023.
Nong Nooch Landscape & Garden Design Co., the lead contractor in Jomtien Beach’s 600-million-baht renovation, is taking the lead to give Pattaya Beach a similar look, complete with exercise areas, a children’s playground and subterranean restrooms.
A lot has changed in the year since the project was first proposed by Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome, with the massive expenditure now criticized in the midst of a ranging coronavirus outbreak, as well as the fact the each had received a 660-milion-baht rebuild just a few years ago.
Sonthaya said Nong Nooch would work on beautifying the beachfront from Walking Street to the Dusit Curve, offering more trees and areas for people to exercise. The goal also is to build underground restrooms, a dubious pursuit given Beach Road’s frequent heavy flooding.
Funds were allocated in October and construction was supposed to begin in December, but were delayed by the second and third coronavirus waves. But Pattaya had to spend the money before Sept. 30 or risk having the central government repossess the budget.
When proposed last August, Pattaya was fully open, but receiving only a trickle of foreign tourists. Therefore, the beach revamp, the mayor said, was aimed at enhancing the beach to appeal more to Thais.
That’s now a questionable goal, as the work won’t be finished for more than two years. By that time, the hope is that Pattaya is back to pre-pandemic tourism levels.
In addition to relandscaping the beach itself, the project includes yet another widening of Beach Road, adding another traffic lane and 700 parking spaces.
The vital north-south artery, which only was fully patched up earlier this year after an agonizingly long bout of road construction, will be ripped up once again to widen it by three meters, taking that space from the footpath.
The extra lane will allow for creation of 700 parking spaces along the 2.7-kilometer stretch between the Dusit Curve and Walking Street.
The blueprint also calls for creation of recreational areas on the beach, three restrooms and beach showers, and the planting of new trees along both sides of Beach Road and additional lighting for improved safety.