Pattaya Beach restoration resumes, August completion promised

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Anan Charoenchasri, the mayor, has vowed that the project of rebuilding Pattaya Beach, which has delayed for a month, will proceed and is expected to be completed by August. The project, which entailed refilling sand at the northern end of the beach, was paused on 20th March when the Marine Department directed that the sand being fetched in from Koh Rang Kwian, an island off the coast of Pattaya, was not a good match of Pattaya’s beachfront. The project had been restarted in early March after a suspension of 15 months.

The whole plan of the project was resent to specialists at Chulalongkorn University who had made the wrong recommendations for sand twice before. However, this time round they maintain they made the right decision. Transportation of sand from Koh Rang Kwian has recommenced and is being stored in barges resting on landfill that is close to a kilometer off shore. Afterwards the sand will be towed in to the beach whenever needed. Even though the sand is darker than Pattaya’s, the experts maintained that once it got spread on the beach, it would get bleached by the sun so that it is as white as Pattaya’s own sand on just few days.

Before the many years of costly delays and restarts, the project had been budgeted in 2011 at 483 million baht. With additional fifteen meters of sand being added beneath the waterline, Pattaya Beach will be extended to thirty five meters from north to south. To mitigate erosion, contractors have also made a plan to set up geotextile mesh reinforcements beneath the sand alongside the waterline. The mayor said that contractors guaranteed him that the whole work can be concluded within 120 days, or at the latest by the end of August.

Even though the plans to restructure Pattaya Beach began back in 2011 when Chula­longkorn researchers cautioned that the beach would vanish within five years if the erosion was not countered, funding for the project underwent repeated delays. Pattaya has periodically performed makeshift refill projects that extended the life expectancy of the beach for only a few years. According to a statement by a lead consultant in 2014, Pattaya Beach was covering 96,128 sq. meters in 1952 and was averagely 35.6 meters wide but it had shrunk over the years to just about 3.5 meters by 2011. Today it is estimated to be almost five meters wide.

 

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