BMA's skywalk project 'over-priced'

The Stop Global Warming Association has called for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to review the planned construction of a 50km Super Skywalk system, a clutter-free elevated walking space, saying it is way over-priced.

The budgeted cost per kilometre was five times the cost of a similar walkway project elsewhere in the city, the association said on Tuesday.  

The project was announced last month by Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribratra.

The governor said the first phase of the walkway project would cover 16km and construction would begin this month with a budget of Bt5.2 billion. The walkway will go down Sukhumvit Road, starting at Soi Nana and ending at Soi Bearing. This phase will also include some parts of Phya Thai, Ramkhamhaeng and Wong Wien Yai.

The first phase is expected to be completed next year.

The second phase will be 32km long and cover Ratchadamri, Silom, Sathorn, Phetchaburi, Ramkhamhaeng, Ekamai, Thonglor, Phahon Yothin, Thon Buri and the Bang Wa areas.  The construction of this phase, which is costed at 10 billion baht, will start next year and is expected to be completed in 2014.

Since the skywalk will be covered, pedestrians will not have to worry about sun or rain, and close-circuit television and adequate lighting will also ensure safety, according to the governor.

As the walkway will be linked to the skytrain and subway systems, MR Sukhumbhand hopes it will encourage peopleto leave their cars at home.

Srisuwan Janya, chairman of the association, said in a statement that the budget set for the project was rather high, or about 300 million baht per kilometre.

He said a 17km walkway project being built by Krungthep Thanakhom Co along the BTS line from the Victory Monument to Soi Bearing costs only 1 billion baht, or about 58.82 million baht per kilometre.

The BMA has embarked on a costly project using the taxpayers money that would only cause more visual pollution, instead of  properly managing Bangkok’s footpaths.

The footpaths, which should be for the whole of Bangkok people, were largely occupied by 10,000 vendors.  This is not fair to the majority of people and contravenes Section 43 of the constitution.

Mr Srisuwan said that the project had also not undergone an environmental impact assessment (EIA) as required by the 1992 Environment Act.

“The Stop Global Warming Association, therefore, calls for the BMA or the government to review this project,” he said.

Source: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/224148/bma-skywalk-project-opposed

See related: http://www.thailand-construction.com/home/903–construction-news/646-bma-to-spend-bt15bn-to-build-super-skywalk.html