For about a year or so now, they have been constructing a bridge over Sukhumwit Road in Bang Pu District of Samut Prakan. When they first started I thought it was a bit strange. As it is a bit like a bridge to no-where. On the southern side of the road there is only a small factory of some kind, a small community and some shrimp farms. The road here runs close to the coastline. So there is only 500 meters between the road and the Gulf of Thailand. I then later heard that this was actually going to be part of a drainage canal between Suvarnabhumi International Airport and the sea. I went back there again at the weekend with my camera to see what they were doing.
This is the bridge over Sukhumwit Road. Behind me is the way to Bang Pu Seaside Resort, Ancient Siam and Paknam. In front of me is the way to Suan Kularb School and Samut Prakan Central Prison at Klong Dan Sub-District. This point is directly south of Suvarnabhumi Airport (see map). What has puzzled me the most every time I have passed this construction, is the “thickness” of the bridge. It looked reinforced for heavy loads but the support pillars below look like normal ones. I recently found out that this was a kind of aqueduct to transport water from the canal on the northern side of the road to the sea 500 meters away. There is about 6 meters of clearance below the aqueduct. The top of the aqueduct is 12 meters above the road.
This picture was taken on the southern side of the road. The sea is now behind me about 500 meters. As you can see, it is indeed an aqueduct and at the bottom of the slope there is still a wall. You can just see a man which gives you some indication of the height. It is 25 meters wide and the walls are 3.15 meters high.
This is looking south towards the Gulf of Thailand. This is obviously a drainage flume. At the far end is the sea. On the left is the factory. On my right is open ground that was once a shrimp farm and beyond that a small community. Hopefully, when the floods are at their highest levels the water won’t go over these walls and flood the local community. I have driven down Sukhumwit Road several times on a day when there was no rain. However there were bad floods when the sea was higher than the land.
This is now on the northern side of the road showing the aqueduct going towards a building on the right. This is the pumping station. The pumping station will be forcibly pumping water out of the drainage canal, up this steep ramp, across the aqueduct, and then down to the flume on the other side where it will finally end up in the sea. The water will be moving at a rate of 100 cubic meters per second. I am no expert but I would reckon that a lot of power would be needed just to raise the water 12 meters over the traffic of Sukhumwit Road. Wouldn’t it have been more efficient to keep the canal at ground level and build a car bridge over it? This whole project is expected to cost at least 11 billion baht and will be finished in 2010. It is unknown how much money is needed to run this large pumping station.
This is now looking north towards the international airport which is 16 kms away. This is the drainage canal that will take the water from the watershed around the airport and Samrong Canal and bring it down to the sea. The canal is about 40 meters wide and 10.5 kilometers long. On both sides there will be a new highway which will link the Bang Na-Trad Highway with Sukhumwit Road along the coast. From what I can tell, the canal will go as far as Theparak Road. They are already constructing a car bridge over this road. Samrong canal is just north of Theparak Road. I am not sure yet how they will connect that canal with the drainage canal.
We will post updates about this on the Samut Prakan Forums. Please post there if you have any comments or news about this project. For the latest news and events for Samut Prakan Province, please visit our website at www.Paknam.com which we have recently upgraded to a news magazine.