The Transport Ministry yesterday signed an agreement with three construction companies to commence renovations on National Road 5 as part of a programme funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.
The three companies are Ilsung-Cienco I Joint Venture, Obayashi Corporation and Tekken-Ikee Joint Venture.
The project will oversee repairs along National Road 5’s 146.04km stretch. It is estimated to cost $161.90 million and will take 42 months to complete.
The project will expand the road by 23 metres, see the construction of a park, six weighing stations and 90 drains in order to reduce the impact of floods.
Transport Minister Sun Chanthol said National Road 5 serves as a major artery for the movement of goods. He said the road also helps reduce traffic jams and that renovations will help reduce the rate of accidents.
“I told the companies to improve and expand National Road 5 with quality so that safety may be improved,” Mr Chanthol said. “In the future, the National Road 5 will become Asia’s highway – and it will attract tourists.”
He noted that prior to the agreement, residents in the area were consulted and told that the project will take more than two years to complete.
Addtionally, the Transport Ministry earlier this month signed an agreement with Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co Ltd, Hanshin Engineering and Construction Co Ltd to improve and expand the southern section of National Road 5, from Prek Kdam bridge in Phnom Penh to Thlea Ma’am in Pursat province, which will take a four-year period to build at a cost of approximately $246 million.
The government is also planning two new expressways. The first one will connect Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville and will cost an estimated $1.9 billion. The second, connecting Phnom Penh to the border with Vietnam, is now being reviewed by JICA.
Earlier this month, hundreds of workers from China arrived to begin work on the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway.
Mr Chanthol at the time said $100-million worth of construction materials will be imported by the end of this month and the groundbreaking ceremony will take place in March.
The expressway project will be built on a build-operate-transfer basis by state-owned Chinese Communication Construction Company Ltd, with construction costs estimated at nearly $2 billion.
The expressway will stretch over 190 kilometers – shorter than the current road, which runs for 240 kilometers. It will have four lanes for the majority of its run and will take four years to complete.