The renovation of National Road 5 continues, with construction work on the section that runs from Prek Kdam area in Kandal to Thlea Ma’Am in Pursat province beginning yesterday.
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The 135-kilometre road section will be expanded to four lanes at a cost of $261 million. The project is being financed with a concessional loan from the Japanese government.
“The renovation of this section of National Road 5 will facilitate the movement of people and cargo, particularly the movement of agricultural products to foreign markets,” Transport Minister Sun Chanthol said during the groundbreaking ceremony yesterday.
“It will also save time, ease traffic and reduce accidents,” the minister added.
Earlier this month, Mr Chanthol said the extension of National Road 5 is part of a larger, Asean-wide project to connect the kingdom with Thailand, Myanmar, and, ultimately, China.
“In the future, National Road 5 will be an important road for the region, linking us to Thailand, Myanmar and even China in the north, while connecting to National Road 4 all the way to Sihanoukville’s port, and to National Road 1 all the way to Vietnam,” he said.
He said his ministry plans to turn the road into the first highway that connects different Asean countries. “It will be a key element of the East-West Economic Corridor when it comes to trade, tourism, logistics and investment.”
As part of the ambitious renovation project, a new border checkpoint will be raised in Stung Bot in Banteay Meanchey province, which will complement the existing border gate in Poipet.
The Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia, Hidehisa Horinouchi, who attended the ceremony, said the revamped road will be key in habilitating the country’s economic growth and enhancing trade with neighboring nations.
“With Cambodia’s economy growing rapidly, improving the transportation of people and goods is crucial to the economy,” the ambassador said. “That is why renovating this road, which will improve connectivity with Thailand and Vietnam, is so important.”
Sin Chanthy, president of the Cambodia Freight Forwarders Association, praised the government for its efforts in improving transportation infrastructure in the Kingdom.
“We are very happy to see that improving transportation with Thailand and Vietnam is being prioritised. The movement of goods in the Greater Mekong Subregion is not efficient, and there are many issues hampering trade, including cumbersome bureaucracy and bad roads,” he said.
“To boost the economy, the focus must be on improving roads.”
National Road 5, a 370-kilometre highway connecting Phnom Penh to Poipet, is being renovated in several stages. Work on the section from Battambang to Serey Sophorn in Banteay Meanchey began in March, while work on the Pursat-Battambang and Serey Sophorn-Poipet sections is due to start in November.