BMA to give Green Bridge a revamp
Buoyed by the warm public response for Bangkok's first skypark across the Chao Phraya River that opened last year, the city's administration is planning to develop a similar elevated park in Bangkok's central business district.
The project -- dubbed "Bangkok Green Bridge" -- is a planned redevelopment of a two-decade old, 1.3-kilometre bridge between Sarasin intersection near Lumphini Park and Benjakitti Park in Khlong Toei district, which currently serves as a pedestrian walkway and bicycle lane.
"The governor has wanted to pursue the Bangkok Green Bridge since 2019 as part of the area's green development masterplan, but it was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic," said deputy Bangkok governor Sakchai Boonma said. "Now, we are going ahead with the project."
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has already earmarked 260 million baht to reinforce the bridge's structure and other landscaping works. According to City Hall, the bridge's design will be finalised in April.
The park is the joint effort of the Urban Design and Development Centre-Centre of Excellence in Urban Strategies (UDDC-CEUS), Atom Design, Landscape Collaboration, Studio Taila and Lighting Research and Innovation Centre (LRIC) at King Mongkut's University of Technology, Thonburi.
BMA said construction is expected to begin soon and could be completed as early as the end of this year.
Mr Sakchai said the BMA wanted to redevelop the 1.3-km elevated walkway as a gift for city dwellers.
First built over two decades ago during the tenure of Bhichit Rattakul as Bangkok governor, the walkway's central location should have made it a hit among locals.
However, only those living in nearby communities, in addition to joggers and cyclists who regularly exercise at the two parks which the walkway connects, know about its existence.
Worse still, the walkway is now known as a crime-prone area, due to its isolation. Its supporting structures have become dilapidated, as in the past two decades, the BMA has only given it two minor facelifts.
"The [Bangkok Green Bridge] project will give a new lease of life to the bridge," Taiwut Khankaew, the director of BMA's Public Works Department, told the Bangkok Post.
Under the plan, the walkway will be expanded by 300 metres, while certain parts of the bridge will be widened from 3m to 7.5m to fit a pedestrian path, cycling lanes and public green spaces.
The director of UDDC-CEUS, Asst Prof Niramon Serisakul, said the design team has been working since 2019 to gather public opinion from nearby communities to ensure the park's design reflects residents' demands.
"This way, residents will have a sense of ownership and help take care of it," she said. "We want it to be a learning centre about urban animals and plants."