Initial plans to redevelop Bali Hai Pier into a cruise terminal and port won approval from residents and businesses at its first public hearing in Pattaya.
Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh opened the Sept. 8 meeting at Redemptorist Technological College attended by about 300 residents, business owners and government enterprise representatives.
Project director Songkrit Sanpakit outlined the draft of the 2.9-million-baht feasibility study, which covers the economic, environmental and community impacts of the redevelopment.
The plan calls for construction of a cruise-ship terminal at Bali Hai, an idea that has attracted little interest among marine-construction companies.
The terminal would extend 50 meters into the sea – something that would need approval from the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry – and a new four-lane road would be built into the Bali Hai complex to ease traffic congestion. Another 15 rai would be added to build a shopping mall, sky walk, a second pier for smaller boats and a station for the proposed high-speed train from Bangkok’s Airports. That project, however, has been delayed again.
Finally, the project plans envision an all-new Walking Street, with the western side of the nightlife strip demolished, replaced by a waterfront park. Of course, Pattaya has spent 25 years trying to plow under that side of Walking Street to no effect.
About 60 percent of those attending the hearing expressed support for the project, although none of the anticipated 2.9 billion baht needed has been budgeted.
Pattaya officials are hoping the plan will win approval from the Eastern Economic Corridor Board and Cabinet.