The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration said a highway from Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk province will commence construction by next year.
The decision was made after a study of the 190-kilometre highway was recently completed, setting in motion a $1.7 billion infrastructure project with a Chinese company.
According to a statement by the Preah Sihanouk administration on Friday, the project is a collaboration with the China Road and Bridge Corporation. The statement added that the highway construction project is expected to be completed by 2023.
Preah Sihanouk provincial Governor Yun Min said yesterday that the project will greatly facilitate people’s travel and will benefit the provincial and national economy.
According to Mr Min, the project will also reduce the number of road accidents on National Road 4.
“We will just need to spend two and a half hours to travel from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville now,” he said. “There will be barriers to prevent animals from crossing, and there will be no traffic congestion.”
An Phallyphyroth, who led the study into the highway construction project, said the highway will cross Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal, Kampong Speu and Preah Sihanouk.
The 24.5 meter-wide asphalt road will accommodate lanes for motorcycles, cars and pedestrians, he added.
Mr Phallyphyroth said the highway will include 89 bridges, four rest stops, three gas stations, and noted that it will have a speed limit of 80 to 120 kilometres per hour.
“This data is just the result of a first-phase study, and the company will conduct three more studies to be completed before the start of construction in early 2019,” he said.
Earlier this month, Transport Minister Sun Chanthol said the government has received the layout provided by the Chinese company investing in the road construction.
Mr Chanthol said the government, led by the Ministry of Economics and Finance, has also been studying methods to acquire land from locals.
“We can start construction as soon as the land has been purchased,” he said.
In January, the government signed multiple agreements with China during a state visit by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, amounting to billions of dollars in concessional loans.