Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol on March 23 opened a new bridge over the Mekong River connecting Kampong Cham and Tbong Khmum provinces to ease traffic as Khmer New Year approaches.
During his visit to the bridge, officially named Stung Trang-Kroch Chhmar Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge, Chanthol said: “During the upcoming Khmer New Year, there will be traffic congestion on ferries. We don’t want to see our people use ferries any longer. So, with the approval from Prime Minister Hun Sen, people can use this bridge from today.”
Chanthol said the prime minister would preside over a formal inauguration of the bridge at an appropriate time.
He continued that the bridge was scheduled to be completed in May 2021, but the construction company had accelerated the works to finish it before the upcoming Khmer New Year.
Ferries at the crossing would be transferred to Kampong Chhnang province as the town does not yet have a bridge.
With the new bridge, people can save time and money and transport more products on time, Chanthol said.
Kampong Cham provincial governor Un Chanda said the bridge will provide greater convenience and reduce transportation costs.
“The bridge is historical for the provinces as it improves communications and boosts the local economy,” he said.
In order to preserve the new bridge, he said security forces would be deployed to watch for overloaded trucks trying to cross it.
“District security forces will check every vehicle. If they are found to be overloaded, we won’t permit them to cross,” he said.
The bridge is 1,131m long and 13.5m wide, crossing the Mekong River from Prek Kak commune in Kampong Cham’s Stung Trang district to Trea commune of Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district. The Chinese government provided $57 million in grant for the project.
Construction started in December 2017.