The Ministry of Economy and Finance has established mechanisms to fund the construction of the 20km Kampot-Veal Renh section of National Road 3 at a cost of $70 million and instructed a construction firm to begin making temporary repairs first to facilitate travel.

Finance minister Aun Pornmoniroth and Ministry of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol inspected the damaged stretch of National Road 3 on October 7.

“The Kampot-Veal Renh section of National Road 3 is 54km long, 34km of which is in good condition. The other 20km section has sustained regular damage though we have repaired it on several occasions,” Chanthol said.

He also sent a technical team to examine the road and prepare a presentation on techniques that can be used to ensure that this round of repairs to the 20km section will be durable.

Pornmoniroth recommended that the construction firm make temporary repairs of the damaged road to facilitate travel before receiving the larger sum of funding to finish the construction.

Public works ministry spokesman Vasim Sorya told The Post that the ministry would have to study the area further because the land at the location was not ideal for construction and some new approach is needed to avoid having to do these same repairs again.

“Now that we’ve secured an agreement, we have to study the site because the land there is muddy,” he said. “On each project, we don’t just release the money to the contractors immediately because in general we’ve had to deal with the Covid-19 situation and then the floods. But now that there is an agreement, we will proceed with the plans.”

Leading his ministry’s technical experts to inspect National Road 3 back on March 29, Chanthol, citing an earlier study, said the funds needed to make the 20km section solid and technically up to standards would amount to $60 to $70 million.

“This 20km section has many problems. We have not made it durable so far because this road was not studied in detail,” he said.

Chanthol added that the section had been constructed four times already, but earlier projects did not involve careful study of the problem or any plans to mitigate the recurrence of the damage.