With Phnom Penh having outgrown its First Ring Road and the Second Ring Road due to open in 2019, the government is making plans for an even grander Third Ring Road that will encircle the the capital and ease traffic congestion. The proposed 47-kilometre road will be the outermost concentric circle around the capital, allowing vehicles to travel from one outerlying area to another without having to pass through the city itself.
According to Kong Sophorn, deputy governor of Kandal province, the Third Ring Road will form a semicircle that starts at National Road 4 west of the capital and arcs south and east to National Road 21 before crossing the river and heading northwards to connect to National Road 1. Overpasses will be built to cross National Road 4, 3 and 21, and a 25-metre-long bridge will span the Bassac River in Sa’ang district.
Sophorn said the Third Ring Road will extend a total of 47 kilometres, passing through two districts in Phnom Penh and three districts in Kandal province. He said the infrastructure project is one of the country’s priority state-funded initiatives and impact studies have shown that it will reduce traffic congestion in Phnom Penh, accelerate city development, and lead to positive development along national roads in Cambodia.
Under the draft plan, a portion of which was seen by The Post, the Third Ring Road will start at Tomnop Kob Srov road in Chaom Chao commune in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district and cut across Kontaok and Pleung Chheh Roteh communes. The road will continue south, traversing Kong Noy, Sak Samphov, Pong Teuk and Prateah Lang communes in the capital’s Dangkor district.
From there it will enter Kandal province, traversing Preah Puth, Cheung Keub, and Khum Kandaok communes in Kandal Steung district. It will then run through Khum Kos Onlong Chen, Sit Tbo and Roka Khous communes in Sa Aang district before crossing the Bassac River. The final stretch of the road will cut through Kampong Svay, Chheu Teal, Dey Eath and Bantey Dek communes in Kean Svay district to its terminus at a junction with National Road 1.
Va Simsorya, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation, emphasised that “all the plans that have been shown are just the first draft,” and the final route of the Third Ring Road could change. He said construction could begin as early as 2019, “if there’s enough money by then,” but added that he was unaware of the project’s budget.
While the route is not set in stone, property speculators have already sprung into action.
Say Long, a local resident in Kandal province’s Kean Svay district, said he has observed Chinese architects doing survey work and marking sections of road near Prek Svay village, which is where the Third Ring Road is expected to cross. He said land prices in the surrounding areas have spiked recently, in some cases by three times their value.
However, he said most local area residents welcome the roadworks project as it will make them feel closer to the capital.