City governor calls new elevated highway a ‘Phnom Penh landmark' that will aid development
People look at an artist's rendition of the proposed skyway during the inauguration of the new Monivong Bridge on Wednesday.
PRIME Minister Hun Sen unveiled plans Wednesday for Phnom Penh's first skyway, saying the elevated road was only the first of several new throughways and bridges that will be constructed in order to ease traffic congestion in the capital.
"This is only our starting point. We will continuously build more bridges," he said at the inauguration of the new Monivong Bridge.
The 380-metre-long-by-14-metre-wide skyway will be built along Norodom Boulevard above the Kbal Thnol traffic circle, which will be removed when construction is complete - at an estimated cost of US$6 million.
"Why is it necessary to build this skyway? Because we need to ease traffic on Norodom Boulevard and National Road 2," Hun Sen said.
He added that the government has approved a plan to find funding for several more bridges, including a second span running parallel to the Japanese Friendship Bridge and a bridge across the Mekong River in Neak Leung.
Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema called the skyway project a "Phnom Penh landmark".
"Building a core transportation system will foster the city's development and help to eliminate poverty," Kep Chuktema said.
As the capital grows, traffic on its roads has become increasingly chaotic, with an estimated four people being killed each day in accidents, according to municipal figures.
Traffic accident fatalities rose 1.8 percent in 2008 to 1,572 nationwide, compared with the previous year.
"I recommend that ... you all respect the traffic laws, because this means that you respect your life," Hun Sen said.