The delay-riddled project to restore Pattaya Beach came to another sudden halt for three weeks last month after it was found the imported sand did not match that on the beach.
Contractor Kijakarn Ruamka Marine Construction Co. stopped work Dec. 28 about halfway through the refill project after beach users complained about the sand laid near the Dusit Thani Hotel.
Sand packed in plastic bags are all that remains of the work crews. The sand within the bags was said to be of the wrong size and color to match what’s left on Pattaya Beach.
The company reportedly is now looking for a new source of sand despite the fact city hall spent millions of baht on university consultants who picked the sand being used.
Kijakarn representatives did not respond to requests for an interview.
Incorrect sand has twice delayed the 483-million-baht project.
The city originally had planned to bring sand from a Rayong estuary to an offshore barge in Pattaya, then use smaller equipment to bring the sand to shore and refill the beach and install supporting frames and breakwaters starting from the Dusit Curve southward.
Objections from Rayong provincial officials resulted in Pattaya not being able to obtain enough sand from that source, so it chose a section off of Koh Khram as a new source. However, that sand was found to not match Pattaya’s own sand well enough and now a new source is needed.
The Royal Thai Navy also has objected to removing sand from the island it controls, the region’s main breeding ground for endangered Green and Hawksbill sea turtles.
When work began again in October, the city said it had found 400,000 cu. meters of sand that matched that currently on Pattaya Beach.