The Phnom Penh-Preah Sihanouk Expressway will be completed ahead of schedule and will be in operation by the end of 2022, Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya told The Post on Wednesday.

Sorya said construction reached 20.65 per cent and the impact settlement 88.84 per cent at the end of last month. The ministry will strive to resolve the remaining cases soon.

It is set to be the first high-speed road in Cambodia.

“Chinese workers are actively working on the construction of the road these days. Not a single one of them has been back to their country during the coronavirus epidemic.

“They have their instructions – wear facemasks, keep proper hygiene and maintain social distancing.

“The construction of the high-speed road is intended to speed up logistics and will be a key link between the capital and the deep seawater port in Sihanoukville,” he said.

The Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway Project is under the direction of China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) through Chinese Cambodia PPSHV Expressway Co Ltd and is expected to cost around $1.9 billion. It officially broke ground in March last year.

The road, which is under build-operate-transfer project financing, will have a total distance of 190.3km and a width of 24.5m with two lanes on each side.

Gardens will be planted along its median strips and barriers will be placed on either side to prevent animals or people from passing through.

A previously-published depiction shows that the road will depart from Phnom Penh near the Kob Srov embankment (north of National Road 4).

The road will cross National Road 4 near Kampong Speu province’s Chbar Mon town and continue straight to Prey Nop district before crossing National Road 4 again and arriving to Sihanoukville.

Cambodia Logistics Association (CLA) president Sin Chanthy told The Post on Wednesday that the expressway would give the Kingdom’s transport sector a competitive edge against neighbouring countries.

He said it would reduce travel congestion and partially mitigate traffic costs. “We have been waiting for this road for a long time – roads today are very packed.

“I believe freight would get around quicker than before on this road,” he said.