The Ministry of Public Works and Transport provided new laboratory equipment to the provincial administrations of Siem Reap, Pursat, Kratie and Preah Sihanouk for for detailed analysis of rocks and soil ahead of construction projects.

The ministry also provided road quality control machinery to the 55 capital and provincial departments of transport.

Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol presided over the November 2 handover ceremony, shortly before inspecting the Prek Tamak Bridge with a new survey machine, the only one of its kind in the Kingdom.

Chanthol told reporters after the inspection: “We checked the condition of the bridge using a new vehicle. Thanks to the purchase of this machine, we can easily determine if the bridge is cracked or facing any structural problems.”

“In the past, we had to send inspection teams under the bridge using ropes. Thanks to this $800,000 machine, up to eight engineers can inspect the bridge at once, while moving up and down the structure as needed. It also provides improved access for carrying out repairs, should they be needed,” he added.

Chanthol explained that the new equipment would allow sub-national authorities to inspect new infrastructure projects without having to rely on the ministry. This was especially true of the laboratory equipment, he added.

“The four laboratories will allow them to check the quality and suitability of soil and rock. Currently, samples must be sent to Phnom Penh before a new project gets underway, so this will make things more efficient,” he said.

Pheng Sovicheano, secretary of state at the ministry, told The Post that once the capital and provincial departments of transportation had their own equipment and were closer to laboratory equipment, inspections would be faster, smoother and easier.

“In the past, samples had to be sent to the capital. The ministry’s central laboratory was very busy, and so there were sometimes delays to construction projects,” he said.

He said that the provision of the equipment and laboratories aimed to increase the efficiency of inspections and planning approval.

“Once the new systems and equipment are in place, local level inspectors will have an easier time conducting their important work. In the past, for example, ministry specialists would sometimes have to spend an entire day travelling to Ratanakkiri province, only to work for two days and then wait another two for a sample to transported and analysed. This new equipment will make construction projects even more efficient,” he said.