Seven years on, accessible pedestrian bridge opens in Pattaya

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Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith cuts the ribbon to officially open the new wheelchair-accessible bridge over Sukhumvit Road. Also on hand to perform the ceremony are Kritchthep Simalee - Director General of Department of Rural Roads, Pattaya Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome, Deputy Mayors Ronakit Ekasingh and Manote Nongyai, Rev. Peter Pattarapong Srivorakul - President of Father Ray Foundation, and Pol. Col. Korn Somkanay – Deputy Superintendent of Pattaya Police Station.
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith cuts the ribbon to officially open the new wheelchair-accessible bridge over Sukhumvit Road. Also on hand to perform the ceremony are Kritchthep Simalee – Director General of Department of Rural Roads, Pattaya Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome, Deputy Mayors Ronakit Ekasingh and Manote Nongyai, Rev. Peter Pattarapong Srivorakul – President of Father Ray Foundation, and Pol. Col. Korn Somkanay – Deputy Superintendent of Pattaya Police Station.

Seven years after it was first proposed, a wheelchair-accessible bridge over Sukhumvit Road has finally opened.

Transport Minister cut the ribbon on the overpass near Redemptorist Vocational College and the Central Road bypass tunnel.

Kritchthep Simalee, director-general of the Department of Rural Roads, said the overpass responds to the need to improve safety and convenience for the disabled.

It took the department three years to approve it after the 42-meter overpass was first proposed.

The bridge is equipped with glass elevators on both ends with keypads with large buttons and braille for those with physical or visual impairments. There are also buttons to call for help.

First proposed in 2013, the bridge was held up by a legal challenge from Pattaya Money Service Co., which claimed the structure would jeopardize safety for customers of its Pattaya Pawnshop.

he operator ultimately lost the case, but by then Pattaya had already spent the money for the bridge on other things.

It took nearly another year for another budget to be secured, for design changes to be made, and plans to relocate water pipes and utility lines drafted. Another year of delays followed as the tunnel neared completion with authorities not wanting to do both projects at the same time.