Local officials hope to begin work on simultaneously refilling Pattaya Beach with sand and laying new beachfront drainage pipes in March.
Top city officials, representatives from Marine Construction Joint Venture Co., and engineers met with business owners and boat operators Jan. 21 to lay out the details on the nine-month, 622-million-baht construction project.
Budgets for both the 430 million baht sand-refill project and the 192.8 million baht drainage pipes have yet to be approved. But officials are hopeful that everything will fall into place so work can begin at the start of March.
(L to R) Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh, Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome, Phanu Phasak, the Marine Department’s engineering chief, and Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay lead a meeting to schedule work on simultaneously refilling Pattaya Beach with sand and laying new beachfront drainage pipes.
Plans to rebuild Pattaya Beach began in 2011 when researchers from Chulalongkorn University warned that the beach would disappear within five years if nothing was done to counter erosion.
Work will begin at the Walking Street end of Pattaya Beach, incrementally building up the shoreline in 300-meter blocks divided with silt curtains to prevent spillover that would affect the beach and boat operators. The new beach, when completed, will be 35 meters wide and 2.8 meters deep.
Beach Road will not be affected by the sand refill, but will be torn up at Walking Street, Soi 6 and the Dusit Curve as engineers lay 2-meter-wide, 200-meter-long pipes to carry flood runoff from higher elevations out to sea.
More than 360,000 cu. meters of sand will be transported from Koh Kram Noi via barge and kept 1.5 kilometers off shore. Pipelines will carry sand in to two Chinese-made barges that will spray the sand to refill the beach area. Barriers will be built 15 meters off shore to hold sand and two 50-meter-long breakwaters will be built at the end of the beach in North and South Pattaya to block sand from being swept away.
Phanu Phasak, the Marine Department’s engineering chief, said sand bags will be placed in each work zone to retain sand while up to 4,000 cu. meters of sand will be sprayed onto each block. A beachfront operations center will be built to manage the project, he added.
Weerat Jirasriphathun, director of Pattaya Sanitation Engineering Department, noted that many people have argued that if Pattaya only focuses on sand-filling and not attacking the flooding issue, beach erosion issue will quickly return.
That is why, he said, Pattaya will simultaneously lay three new pipelines at the beach. The pipes were deemed necessary after high-capacity water pumps installed at the same places failed to resolve Beach Road flooding.