Phnom Penh’s third overpass, or flyover, bridge is now close to completion, some eight months ahead of schedule, and its planners say it will not only greatly improve traffic congestion in the southwest of the city but will also lead to price increases for property that will have easier access to downtown.
The so-called butterfly-shaped overpass – a variation on a standard cloverleaf interchange – is now visibly taking shape, with construction slated to be completed in August.
The Stung Meanchey flyover project was inaugurated on November 26, 2012, with a budget of $19 million financed by the Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation (OCIC), and is now 70 per cent complete, according to Touch Samnang, the project’s manager.
Samnang confirmed that progress on the Stung Meanchey flyover was continuing to proceed ahead of plan, and that the main bridge and feeder roads were scheduled for completion in August, well ahead of the scheduled date of March next year.
“The current situation [in terms of construction] is causing many difficulties for people who live in the area, so we are sparing no efforts to try and get this project completed by August, but we can’t make any 100 per cent guarantees on that front,” he said.
Once completed, the overpass is expected to significantly ease traffic congestion in the area, but traffic issues are likely to continue to worsen in other parts of Phnom Penh as vehicle numbers increase by the day.
It is an issue, sources say, that the municipal government is devoting considerable efforts to rectify.
Po Eavkong, managing director of Asia Real Estate Cambodia Co, Ltd, said that infrastructure development in Phnom Penh would provide many positive outputs, including ease of travel and improved economic growth. Eavkong also noting that improved infrastructure is good for property values as well.
At this time, land along the main road in the Stung Meanchey area, between Stung Meanchey Bridge and the crossroad close to the Sokimex Petrol Station, is priced at between $1,000 and $1,500 per square metre, while on the sub-roads prices range from $300 to $400 per square metre, seeing an increase of around 15 and 20 per cent annually, Eavkong said.
However, he noted that land prices close to the bridge had been affected negatively on a temporary basis.
“Property next to the bridge has suffered due to blocked roads and parking difficulties,” he said.
Oum Vutha, director of Angkor Khmer Real Estate, said that once the bridge was completed it would benefit the nearby property sector, and property prices would again increase once traffic jams and dust from construction are no longer a problem.
Land prices along the main road would likely rise from$1,500 to $2,500 per square metre depending on the location, he said.
“Once the bridge is completed, land prices in the area will increase at least 20 to 30 per cent,” he said.
Stung Meanchey Bridge is Phnom Penh’s third flyover, following the Kbal Thnol Bridge, which saw an investment of $6 million after being inaugurated for use on June 24, 2010, and the 7 Makara Bridge, which saw investment of $8 million and was inaugurated on January 6, 2012.
At the inauguration of the project, the plan was for the OCIC-invested Stung Meanchey flyover to take a total of 28 months to complete. An August completion date would represent a saving of eight months on the original planned completion date.