Workers have already started patching sections of National Road 2, which connects Phnom Penh to Takeo province but lies largely in a state of disrepair, an official said yesterday.
The news comes after Transport Minister Sun Chanthol told reporters on Sunday that he would seek the road’s temporary repair before a more extensive $64 million rebuilding project gets underway.
“We have already started on the worst parts, and officially have done 5 kilometres in Kandal province starting from May, and the remainder we are working on maintenance so people can use it before the Pchum Ben festival,” said
Kandal Provincial Public Works and Transport Department Director Moeng Youleng. Pchum Ben starts September 19.
“We do not know how much budget we will need for these temporary repairs, as we are now studying it.”
After a visit to a section of the road on Sunday, Chanthol told reporters that a South Korean firm had been contracted to completely rebuild the road – with the help of a $56 million concessional loan from the South Korean government – but he feared that the project could take too long. As such, he said he would seek extra government funds to patch the road before the main rebuilding project starts.
“I don’t expect this project to build the road could be done by 2018 – it could be the end of 2018 by the company – but because we have seen that the road conditions are too difficult, and because we see the difficulties of the people, we are now finding solutions,” Chanthol said after his visit.
The next national election is scheduled for July 22, 2018, and infrastructure has long been a major campaign point for the ruling CPP.