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Relocations set bridge repairs back until May

Construction workers work under the Japanese Bridge in Phnom Penh.
Construction workers work under the Japanese Bridge in Phnom Penh.

Relocations set bridge repairs back until May

Repairs to the Cambodian-Japanese Friendship Bridge, which a City Hall official had said would begin this month, will instead get underway in May, according to representatives from Japan, which is funding the work.

Via email, spokesperson for the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chin Kimheang said preparations, including the relocation of households in the vicinity of the bridge, were still ongoing.

“Although the resettlement plan has been basically agreed among them, it is necessary for the project to wait for the compensation process and actual relocation process,” she said.

City Hall spokesman Met Measpheakdey confirmed some households would be affected by the project but referred questions about relocation to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.

The ministry’s spokesman said he did not have any information about the impact.

The bridge, which currently carries eastbound traffic over the Tonle Sap river to the Chroy Changvar peninsula, will be closed for 22 months during the repairs.

The Cambodian-Chinese Friendship Bridge, which currently serves westbound traffic from the peninsula, will become two-way, while ferries will also transport vehicles across.

Japan is providing about $30 million for the project, which will repair significant structural damage to the bridge’s supports.

Kimheang also said a contractor had yet to be selected.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING SHAUN TURTON

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