The Ministry of Public Works and Transport announced on Wednesday its plan to reopen the capital’s Chroy Changvar bridge to the public before Khmer New Year as repairs are 97 per cent complete.
Minister Sun Chanthol made the announcement during an inspection of the bridge as he declared all major repairs were completed.
He said the early opening will help avoid traffic jams during April’s Khmer New Year’s celebrations.
The repairs – an almost two-year project that began in September 2017 and were set to end in June this year – have come at a cost of approximately $30 million, much of which has been provided in aid by the Japanese government.
Chroy Changvar bridge – which is 971m in length and 13m wide – was first opened in 1963. After being damaged during the civil war, the bridge was reopened with Japanese assistance in 1992.
Department of Information and Public Relations director at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport Heang Sotheayuth told The Post on Thursday that the important repairs were already complete.
He said only minor repairs remained – including cleaning and painting – and that repairs were ahead of schedule due to good cooperation between the Cambodian and Japanese teams.
“Ninety-seven per cent of repairs are complete. What remains is the cleaning of pedestrian lanes, motorbike lanes, car lanes and painting. The inspection of small flaws on the bridge is also underway, but there are no major works left,” he said.
Sotheayuth said the launch of the bridge ahead of Khmer New Year is intended to ease traffic congestion as the public travels from Phnom Penh back to the provinces.
“We understand the difficulty for people during Khmer New Year when they experience traffic jams. Therefore the opening is to ease traffic congestion for them,” he said.
Municipal Hall spokesman Met Meas Pheakdey said the early reopening of the bridge was a sign of the project’s success.
“The authorities have a duty to keep public order. During Khmer New Year, travelling on National Route 5 and 6 will be better as we will now have three bridges for them to cross,” he said.