‘Garden bridge’ across Bangkok’s Chao Phraya opens soon

Photo: Urban Design and Development Center / Facebook
Photo: Urban Design and Development Center / Facebook

A rail bridge abandoned almost 30 years will get a new lease on life as an elevated garden overlooking the Chao Phraya River when it opens to the public later this month.

Under construction for just over a year with a budget of THB122 million (US$3.9 million), the green pedestrian bridge dubbed Chao Phraya Sky Park will welcome visitors and pedestrians between the capital’s Samphanthawong and Thonburi districts.

On Thursday, City Hall staffers and volunteers placed some plants at what’s marketed as the world’s first garden bridge. The mid-river garden and observation deck spans 8.5 meters by 280 meters atop the Phra Pok Klao Bridge. 

A short distance from the Memorial Bridge, aka Saphan Phut, the former rail bridge was never used. Its tracks were for the unfinished Lavalin Skytrain project, which began in 1984 and was abandoned in 1992 due to funding problems. 

The project is a collaboration between the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and Chulalongkorn University’s Urban Design and Development Center. 

Elevated greenway projects have become en vogue in cities around the world, such as New York City’s High Line, which opened atop former railway land in 2009. London last year abandoned a similar Garden Bridge project over the Thames River after spending GBP53 million (THB2 billion).

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