Prime Minister Hun Sen on August 31 broke ground on two new flyovers in the capital – a $36.8 million interchange and a $10 million overpass.

To be named Monivong, the grand interchange will link the triple intersection of Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (better known as Street 271) and Monivong boulevards.

The overpass, to be named Kong Sam Ol, will connect Russian Federation Blvd and Samdech Chaufea Veang Kong Sam Ol Blvd (commonly known as Street 2004).

The premier said the two projects will be built by Overseas Cambodian Investment Corporation (OCIC), at a total cost of $46,775,000. The Monivong interchange is projected to take 36 months to complete while the Kong Sam Ol overpass will take 16 months.

He recalled that in the 1980s and 1990s, the needs of the people were very different from today. The highest priority for his people at the time, he elaborated, was a secure food supply but what they need now is advanced infrastructure for travelling and conducting business.

He said infrastructure construction in the capital is based on the principle of “packing palm sugar in palm leaves”, which means that Phnom Penh itself would generate the income for its own development.

He also spoke of ongoing plans to construct three bridges across the river – one from the Old Market to Svay Chrum, another from Kdei Takoy to Arey Ksat, and the other from Chak Angre to Prek Pra – which would facilitate traffic flow in and out of the capital. Some of the projects were in the advanced planning stages, while some are still under negotiation with construction partners, he added.

Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng said at the ceremony that in the field of infrastructure, the government has accomplished several spectacular achievements throughout the country. Various projects have promoted development, improved the lives of the people and brought prestige to the nation, he said.

“In Phnom Penh, [Hun Sen] has always supported the development and rehabilitation of transport infrastructure, to assure that the capital is as modern as any city in the region,” he added.

According to Sreng, Phnom Penh has spent over $226 million on the construction of bridges across the river and flyovers.

At the ceremony, Hun Sen also reminded municipal and provincial authorities of the importance of maintaining a modern transport infrastructure.

“Days ago, I fired the Takhmao town governor because he was not providing the infrastructure that the residents deserve. I am waiting to see which governor will succeed in restoring the roads of the Prek Hou area. Many governors have tried, but none have succeeded.

“The more roads we have, the more maintenance is required. Therefore, all governors and their deputies must accept the responsibility of making sure their infrastructure is maintained to the standard which a modern nation demands. One of their most important duties is to make sure that those who use overloaded trucks that damage our roads are disciplined,” he said.

Currently, Phnom Penh has six flyovers in use, with a seventh, the Russey Keo overpass, under construction.