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Highway to Sihanoukville on its way

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An expressway will link the international seaport of Sihanoukville to capital city, Phnom Penh. ROB ELLIOTT/AFP

Highway to Sihanoukville on its way

The Cambodian government said it is actively working with China Road and Bridge Corporation, a Chinese company seeking to speed up construction of an expressway linking Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk province, says Ministry of Public Works and Transport officials.

The planned expressway will span a total of 190km and will be built parallel to the 232km long National Road 4.

The new road will be built starting from the intersection of National Road 4 and Phnom Penh’s Tomnub Kob Srov road. Costing $1.9 billion, it is expected to take 48 months to complete.

Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Soriya said the minister is now pushing the Chinese company to begin construction soon.

“In these last few weeks, Minister Sun Chanthol has held talks with the companies’ officials twice to start construction by the end of November,” said Soriya.

He said the China Road and Bridge Corporation started building a fence at some points on the site.

The construction was previously planned to start towards the end of last year but was delayed.

The government is also planning another expressway project linking the capital with Bavet city in Svay Rieng province, at the border with Vietnam.

Cambodia Freight Forwarders Association president Sin Chanthy said having the additional route is something all sectors are waiting for as National Road 4 is too narrow.

“The traffic on National Road 4 always faces flood problems. Earlier this year, the road was closed twice causing delays to goods transportation schedules. It also caused detours to National Road 3 which adds to the distance from Phnom Penh,” he said.

The new expressway will be more useful because it is faster and not [prone to] accidents.”

International seaport

National Road 4, currently the Kingdom’s main economic corridor, will also be upgraded with construction work starting as early as next year.

The project, funded by the World Bank and worth $110 million, will lengthen the road by more than 200km and take around 18 months to complete.

It aims to greatly improve travel from the capital to the Kingdom’s only international seaport in Sihanoukville.

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