Pattaya, the 11th of June 2010 [PDN]: Having covered the story of Thappraya/Jomtien 2nd roads on many an occasion, Pattaya Daily News has still been unable to get a clear answer out of Pattaya City Hall administrators as to when the development is likely to be finished. Budget increases are thought to have been approved in regards to the development, yet land acquisition issues are still largely being trumpeted as the reason for the delays.
Cracks, holes and depressions are a common sight along the Thappraya Road, recently branded as ‘finished’ despite the presence of construction materials, pipe-work and an uncompleted traffic island running up the middle. Aside from the already evident drainage issues, the new roads inability to cater for the increased traffic flow from Pratamnak and Thepprasit Roads still sees heavy congestion in peak hours.
Heavy vehicles have caused the road to ‘roll’ at crucial points including the Pratamnak Junction and several connections with hotels and condominium complexes heading towards Jomtien. This roll effect is increasing the size of depressions that are appearing and creating significant potholes after periods of inclement weather, as the water erodes the uneven surface of the road.
At present the municipal authorities are using road-base to infill the inherent potholes that are popping up in the surface, particularly in the Pattaya bound lane, before covering the top in a thin layer of road tar. The large depressions that appear at the junction with Pratamnak Road have also been managed in this way. These are merely temporary measures that will require re-doing unless corrective actions are taken at the crucial junction.
As for Jomtien 2nd Road, between the Hanuman Statue and the back of Chon-Buri immigration offices behind Soi 5, a complete halt to development has occurred in this section with no indication as to the reasons. The Pattaya City Hall has persistently claimed that land acquisition issues are behind the problem; however this seems unlikely given the proposed route that the road will take. At present, other than the also incomplete Ocean Towers development, there appears to be no land restricting the completion of this section which will connect with the Thappraya Road.
The area is rife with hazards, which alter on a daily basis. Travelling motorists have to deal with stagnant water almost permanently covering the surface in one part, not to mention the numerous amounts of potholes and unfinished or unsealed sections that are prevalent. Despite the intention to connect Jomtien 2nd Road with several of the Soi’s adjoining beach road, at present the construction work has halted. Contractors have left a mess of construction debris and earth built-up at the junctions which have prevented all but the motorbikes from being able to access the adjoining soi’s.
Land acquisition issues are stated to be the reason behind the delays in connecting the Jomtien 2nd Road with Chaiyapruk Road in North Jomtien. The completed section currently runs as far up as Soi 9, with shortcuts the other side of halted constructions present to aid traffic cutting through to the Thepprasit Road. Motorists have been free to use one lane of the completed road to access Soi 9 heading up to the Hanuman Statue, however, with no break in the traffic island there will only ever be an ability to use the road if you are heading in towards Pattaya from Soi 9.
In short, other than serving residents as an overdeveloped shortcut to avoid the beach road traffic as far up as Soi 9 (not even half the length the road is supposed to avoid), Jomtien 2nd road is completely useless whilst in its current state.
Construction delays and development issues are not uncommon in Thailand or any other country in the world for that matter, however, the continued ignorance of the administrations involved in this particular development are already responsible for a significant loss of trade and closure of businesses, not to mention numerous serious traffic accidents in the area. Very little explanations or status reports have been provided to local residents as to the progress of the construction whilst Jomtien is quickly turning away the tourists in an already unstable climate.
Remaining businesses are increasingly looking to relocate to downtown Pattaya or disappearing from the area completely. Once considered a lively nightlife center of the Jomtien district, the patch of bars, restaurants and clubs along the Hanuman curve and the arcades in-between are slowly moving out as the effects of the ongoing constructions and other pressures turn the tourists and indeed residents away.
The local government, administrations and contractors need to come together to map out a clear and concise action plan which will be adhered to by all, in an attempt to rectify the current situation. Residents and local businesses need to be kept informed as to the developments and restrictions that may be imposed so that they can plan accordingly. Swift action on the innumerable hazards prevalent in the area needs to be taken immediately to avoid future accidents and/or health and safety concerns.
Pattaya daly News