Cambodia Breaks Ground for its First Highway

Infrastructure, Cambodia

Vehicles driving along national road 4. KT/ Photo: Valinda Aim

According to the local newspaper Khmer Times, Cambodia will built its first highway. The project is (as usual) supported and financed by China PRC.

Construction of the Kingdom’s first-ever highway, stretching 190 kilometres to connect Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, was confirmed to start in November. The highway will begin in Phnom Penh’s Chaom Chao area, starting at street Tom Nop Kop Srov, which links national roads 4 and 5, according to Va Simsorya, spokesman at the Ministry of Public Works.

“Minister Sun Chanthol has already confirmed that construction of the expressway will begin in November as planned,” Mr Simsorya said on Friday. “The site is now being prepared for the upcoming construction work.”

China Road and Bridge Corporation, who has been granted the project, has also said they are ready to begin work, Mr Simsorya said.

The highway will be built on a build-operate-transfer basis, with the Chinese firm reaching a deal with the Cambodian government in January. The government is now working on a compensation plan for people affected by the project, Mr Simsorya added. The highway should bring some relief to the current national road linking Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville as it is most of the time heavily crowded, due to many construction sites along the road.

The thoroughfare will come at a cost of nearly $2 billion, and it will stretch over 190 kilometres – shorter than the current road, which runs for 240 kilometres. It will have four lanes for the majority of its run and will take four years to complete.

The government now is considering to open a second highway from Phnom Penh to Bavet District in the Southeast part of the Kingdom. This four-lane second road, which would stretch on 130 km to the Vietnamese border would cost US$3.8 billion, according to a preliminary study by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

According to Cambodia’s Expressway Master Plan, by 2020 Cambodia needs 850 kilometres of expressway which could cost as much as $9 billion. To reach 2,230 kilometres of expressway by the year 2040, the country needs an investment capital of at least $26 billion.

(Source: Khmer Times)