New bridge plan threatens Bangkok’s famous Sampheng market
BMA is planning to build four new bridges across the Chao Phraya River
31 May 2019
VENDORS IN Bangkok’s wholesale Sampheng market have joined forces to oppose plans to construct a bridge near their area.
“We will officially submit a letter of protest to the Bangkok Metro-politan Administration (BMA),” Amornrat Kriangka-chaorn said yesterday as coordinator of vendors in Sampheng and Tha Din Daeng.
Opponents have warned that the construction, if implemented, will destroy the thriving Sampheng market as well as businesses nearby in areas such as Ratchawong and Tha Din Daeng.
Chumsilp Sothipreedawong, a local resident, said businesses in the area have a distinctive identity and were mostly developed by small entrepreneurs.
“This bridge will hurt local businesses and local ways for no reason. Even if it is built, the bridge will not ease the traffic congestion,” he complained.
The 12-metre-wide bridge straddling Chao Phraya River will have two lanes for traffic in each direction. Given that traffic from one direction will have to flow into the Sampheng area, locals foresee traffic snarls.
“Really, we see no point of building this bridge,” Amornrat said.
This bridge is one of the four that BMA is planning to build across the Chao Phraya River. The three other bridges are at Kiak Kai intersection, Lad Ya-Maha Preuttaram and Chan-Charoen Nakhon roads.
For the bridge on Ratchawong-Tha Din Daeng roads, the BMA had tasked Tesco Co Ltd to conduct a preliminary study and draw up the design.
In 2011, the company completed its work and recommended that an environmental impact assessment (EIA) be conducted.
In response to the suggestion, Pre Development Consultant Co Ltd was commissioned to prepare the EIA. It completed its study on March 30 and was set to start the building work.
Draft city plan
This bridge project is included in Bangkok’s draft town plan. Last Friday, a public forum on the draft was held in order to gather opinions from relevant parties.
However, most of those who turned up at the forum disagreed with the draft, saying it seemed to favour investors and the private sector at the expense of local people.
Among their concerns were evictions, dust from construction projects and urban overcrowding.
Narumon Mekborisut from the Foundation for Consumers, which represents many communities in Bangkok, revealed that she had|previously informed the BMA that many parts of the draft should be reviewed.
“It’s necessary to pay close attention to environmental impacts and problems that high-rise buildings will cause to local communities,” she said.
Woranan Wiworakij said last Friday that high-rise buildings brought to Mahadlekluang communities cause traffic jams, floods and dust problems.
“Those coming to high-rise buildings often park in the small lanes of our community,” she lamented.
BMA has maintained that the town-planning draft is designed to make the capital a more pleasant place in which to live.