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Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway 51% complete

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Construction of the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway is 51.35 per cent complete and is expected to be finished in 2023, according to a senior official at the transport ministry. Photo supplied

Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway 51% complete

The construction of the nearly $2 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway is 51.35 per cent complete and is expected to be finished in 2023, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of state Vasim Sorya.

Invested in by Cambodian PPSHV Expressway Co Ltd, the first expressway in Cambodia will boast a total length of 190.3km and stretch from Samrong Krom commune in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district to Sihanoukville’s Commune III. Prime Minister Hun Sen broke ground on the road on March 22, 2019.

At a width of 24.5m with two lanes on either side, the road will be developed on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.

Sorya said: “This project will help boost the freight and trade sector [by providing faster connectivity to] the deep-sea port in Sihanoukville.”

At the same time, a more than $219 million road improvement project for National Road 3 linking Phnom Penh to Kampot town is 98.04 per cent complete, and the dispute resolution process attached to the project – including compensating families affected by the construction – was closed at the end of last month, he said.

Involving more than 134km of road, the project broke ground on May 7, 2018, and is being built by China Road and Bridge Corp and technically supervised by Guangzhou Wanan Construction Supervision Co Ltd, he said, adding that it is financed by a concession China and a counterpart fund from the Cambodian government.

“Currently, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport is striving to speed up the installation of speed and security cameras, underground weighing scales and weigh stations. The pedestrian flyover on National Road 3 in Tram Khna [village in northern Takeo province’s Bati district] is scheduled to be completed by the end of June 2021,” Sorya said.

He noted that the project was reaching completion a year earlier than planned, but said he did not know when it would be inaugurated.

With the sheer number of factories, manufacturing enterprises and other businesses that depend on it, National Road 3 was built with due consideration to technical factors, he asserted, adding that the high incidence of freight vehicles exceeding the weight limit on the road was a key reason prompting the ministry to back the project.

“National Road 3 will divert traffic from National Road 4, as an alternate route to the port of Sihanoukville, a connection to the South Sea corridor between Koh Kong and Thailand’s Trat province, and a link to the corridor with [Ha Tieng province in] Vietnam. This road will also serve the tourism sector.”

Logistics Business Association (Loba) president Chea Chandara pointed out that these projects are important economic routes that provide better connectivity to Sihanoukville Port.

“These roads are an important bypass for transporting goods and serving the tourism sector, especially the coastal areas. Along these roads, there are many factories, enterprises, so I think the transport sector will have great potential.”

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