The Ministry of Public Works and Transport plans to conduct a groundbreaking ceremony for a bridge which will connect an expressway linking Phnom Penh to Bavet town in Svay Rieng province in June or July next year.

Minister Sun Chanthol made the announcement on December 22, saying that the ministry is prepared to begin construction in the second half of 2023. The ministry’s Chinese partners are currently securing financing for the expressway.

“According to our estimates, the expressway projects will cost more than $1.4 billion. We aim to complete construction of the bridge and the expressway at the same time,” he said.

Chanthol added that there are many other successful infrastructure projects which he expects to see get underway in early 2023.

“We plan to launch construction of a bridge across the Mekong River in Kratie on January 2. On January 9, we will begin the expansion of the road from Phnom Penh to Kampong Cham province from two to four lanes. This is a monumental undertaking, and we intend to invite Prime Minister Hun Sen to preside over the ceremony,” he said.

A draft public-private partnership contract for the Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway infrastructure project has been finalised and will be signed early next year.

Last September, Chanthol signed a memorandum of understanding with China Road and Bridge Construction (CRBC), a conglomerate with years of experience of similar projects, including Cambodia’s first expressway, the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway.

During the inauguration of two new roads in Preah Sihanouk province last week, Hun Sen said the construction of infrastructure is a fair distribution of the nation’s “economic fruits”.

“In the future, the government will develop and build more infrastructures to serve the people of Cambodia. This will include the bridge from Phsar Chas (Old Market) to Arei Ksat, the Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway, the Battambang-Siem Reap national road and a bridge across the Mekong River in Kratie province, as well as high-speed rail,” he added.