The City Hall plans to begin construction of the 14km riverside promenade this October despite concerns over the impact it will have on the lives of people who live along the Chao Phraya River.
Still pushing ahead with the plan to add the modern structure, dubbed “The New Landmark of Thailand,” to the city’s old bloodline, deputy Bangkok governor Pusadee Tamthai said the city is preparing to hire King Mongkut Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL) experts to conduct a detailed study of the project including its environmental impact.
The move was announced yesterday to the City Council after district councillor Wanwilai Phromlakkhano asked Ms Pusadee for an update on what city officials are doing and in what direction the project, which has been surrounded by controversy, will go.
They have now reached the study stage after the project was approved by the Prayut Chan-o-cha government in February last year as a recreational area for pedestrians and cyclists as well as a flood barrier along both sides of the Chao Phraya.
The KMITL is expected to come out with the complete design and other findings in September, Ms Pusadee said.
The government gave the city 120 million baht for the study, she added, while the project value is estimated at 14 billion baht.
City Hall invited the KMITL to study the project after officials earlier failed to contract an consultancy firm to conduct the feasibility study, deputy Public Works Department chief Pinit Lertudomtana said.
The City Hall cancelled the bidding contest late last year after two of the three contenders withdrew from the race.
With only one candidate, a consortium consisting of Panya Consultants Co, Epsilon Co and Transconsult Co left, the officials could not go ahead with the study.
Yet dealing with the KMITL has not been a smooth process, Mr Pinit said.
He admitted some students and staff opposed the institute’s participation in the project as they believe the promenade will be too disruptive. The study is still inconclusive and their input will be valuable, he said.
He said he believes the KMITL will gather useful opinions to complete its study.
The promenade, which will run from Rama VII to Pin Klao Bridge, is part of the government’s ambitious plan to build a 140km non-motorised path along sections of the river in Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Bangkok and Samut Prakan.