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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Downtown road resurfacing program underway

Downtown road resurfacing program underway

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Siem Reap’s provincial governor gears up for his middle-of-the-road press conference. Photograph: Alistair Walsh/Phnom Penh Post

Perhaps it could only happen in Siem Reap, where the provincial governor blocked off the town’s busiest road mid-morning last Friday to conduct a mid-road press conference centering on plans to improve traffic flow in the tourism mecca.

Sivutha Boulevard was closed to traffic for the conference with police redirecting traffic, while provincial governor Sou Phirin announced that the roads of downtown Siem Reap are scheduled for a massive resurfacing project.

More than 14 kilometres of roads in Siem Reap will be resurfaced over coming weeks and months as part of a larger scale project to increase standards in Siem Reap.

“The main purpose for this road resurfacing is to attract more tourists to stay longer in Siem Reap, as well to improve conditions for Siem Reap residents,” Sou Phirin said.

Speaking in front of busy road-workers near Angkor Market, the governor said he would be introducing a series of other changes.

“I have seen many changes in Siem Reap over my seven year term. Siem Reap has developed a lot – we have many more roads. But there are still some problems,” he said.

“We will do our best to solve many of these issues in the future.”

Sou Phirin said the main issues facing Siem Reap include garbage collection, agriculture, tourism, roads and floods.

Although he didn’t outline a plan for dealing with future floods, the governor said there could not be a repeat of the 2010 floods.

“We have to make sure there are no floods, especially in the temple area around Angkor Wat,” he said.

He spoke briefly about the river widening project, saying work should be finished by the end of 2013.

“We have to make our Siem Reap River much bigger than before and make sure that there is no pollution in the river,” he said.

The governor was flanked by a heavy contingent of local media as he answered questions in front of road workers.

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