MORE than 300 kilometres of highway near the Thai border will be renovated with the use of Chinese grants, expanding trade opportunities for merchants in the west of the country, Cambodian officials say.
Kim Borey, director general of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, said Sunday that renovations on a 144-kilometre stretch of National Road 59 spanning Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and Pailin provinces would begin at the end of this year. In addition, 176 kilometres of Road 57D will be renovated and connected to Road 59.
“This road will be very useful for Cambodians to travel and transport their goods because areas near the border are full of crops,” Kim Borey said.
Phy Lyda, director of the Heavy Equipment Centre at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, said the projects would take about three years to finish.
The renovations on Road 59, he said, would cost roughly US$72 million, whereas construction on Road 57D would cost around $89 million.
Both projects are being handled by Chinese firms and funded by loans from Beijing, he said.
Lang Vith, a farmer in Battambang who cultivates corn and cassava, said yesterday that the improved roads would be a boon for him and other farmers in the area. “Businessmen have always quoted low prices for my crops because they complain that they have to spend too much money transporting them,” he said.