BANGKOK — A 10-meter wide boardwalk along Chao Phraya River is no April Fools’ joke, as City Hall revealed Friday its new adjusted design was already completed.
Deputy Bangkok Governor Jakkaphan Phiew-ngarm said City Hall will seek cabinet approval to start the bidding process for the first 14-kilometers of the controversial 8.3 billion baht project within this month. He said the construction of the project is expected to begin in September.
Sparked by the junta’s ambition to create a new national landmark, the redevelopment project plans to build a concrete walkway along both sides of the Chao Phraya River covering 57 kilometers. It will include piers, museums and a bicycle lane.
The first construction phase across a 7-kilometer long stretch will start on both sides of the river from Rama VII Bridge to Phra Pinklao Bridge.
The idea – which will forcibly remove houses encroaching into the river for public use – was supported by some but also drew criticism for its impacts on the environment, communities and culture.
The design revealed last year was sent back to be adjusted after one of the structures was accused of plagiarism.
The latest design narrows the walkway from its original 12 to 19 meters to only seven to 10 meters, Jakkaphan said. However, the full design was not disclosed.
The first phase is expected to take 18 months to construct. Jakkaphan said City Hall expected to sign the project contract with developers by August and that the first 14-kilometer promenade should be completed by early 2019.