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Traffic flow far lighter after underpass temporarily opened

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
Traffic flow around Chom Chao yesterday morning was much lighter after Prime Minister Hun Sen announced a temporary use of the new Chom Chao’s underpass. Capital’s Public Works and Transport Department

Traffic flow around Chom Chao’s roundabout yesterday morning was much lighter after Prime Minister Hun Sen announced a temporary use of the new Chom Chao underpass.

Before it officially and fully opens, the passengers who travel across Chom Chao’s roundabout to reach or exit the capital along National Road 3 and National Road 4 could easily spend at least two hours  in a traffic jam.

The capital has three underpasses – Chom Chao’s underpass, Stung Meanchey’s underpass and Techno Intersection underpass.

Traffic flow has been better now surrounding the Chom Chao roundabout, especially on National Road 4 from the west to Russian Boulevard onto the east of the capital, according to Saing Piseth, director of the capital’s public works and transport department.

He said yesterday morning witnessed no traffic congestion around Chom Chao roundabout.  He added that opening the underpass can ease 30 percent of the traffic jam on the intersection road – connecting National Road 4, National Road 3 and Veng Sreng Street as well as Russian Boulevard are also better.

“It is about 30 percent better for easing the traffic jam on the road and 100 percent better for the underpass – no traffic jam,” he added.

Chom Chao roundabout will have a flyover and underpass, which will play a large part in solving the congestion problems that build up in that area. The project, that is set to be completed next year, broke ground in June 2018 and, after completion, will be the sixth flyover in the capital following on from Phsar Dey Huy, Kbal Thnal, Stung Meanchey, Prampi Makara and Pram Makara.

The Chom Chao flyover and underpass are being developed by the Overseas Cambodia Investment Corp (OCIC) and the budget for the project is around $22 million. Once completed, the flyover and underpass will have a 100-year lifespan.

According to Piseth, the whole project will be completed by the end of 2022, but much of the construction work would be finished sooner and is expected to be completed in mid-2022.

When asked how the capital’s public works and transport dealt with the flooding for the underpass during the rainy season, Piseth said that OCIC has already built two big reservoirs and six pumping motors to evacuate water in case of flooding in the underpass.

He added that the capital’s Public Works and Transport Department as well as City Hall will build a water gate along National Road 4 at Hun Sen Champouvoan High School, about one kilometre from the underpass, to prevent water flowing to the roundabout from Ang Snuol and Kambol.

“We could have built either a flyover or an underpass. If we constructed just the flyover, there are many impacts for citizens living along the road, so we had to do both an underpass and flyover to reduce the impact,” Piseth said.

According to the master plan, the main part of the flyover connects Russian Federation Boulevard to National Road 3 and will be 408 metres long and 15.8 metres wide. The second part connects Russian Federation Boulevard to Veng Sreng Street and will be 40 metres long and 5.25 metres wide.

The third connects Veng Sreng Street to National Road 3 and will be 60 metres long and 5.25 metres wide. The single-way underpass connects National Road 4 to Russian Federation Boulevard and will be 470 metres long and 8.5 metres wide. The Chom Chao roundabout will be a link between Phnom Penh and National Roads 3 and 4, an import-export gateway for Cambodian goods to the international market.

Mr Hun Sen announced on Monday that the soft launch of the use of Chom Chao underpass will ease traffic congestion at the roundabout.

Mr Hun Sen said: “This underpass will also help to ease the traffic congestion especially during the upcoming holiday of the Water Festival which runs from Oct 30 to Nov 1. During the holiday, he said, urban people want to travel to provinces and rural people want to visit the capital via the National Roads 3 and 4 and will use the Chom Chao roundabout.

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