Construction of the country’s first expressway, connecting Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville on the coast, is 7 percent complete almost a year after the groundbreaking.
The construction of the thoroughfare is going according to schedule, according to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, who recently said in a Facebook post that the expressway will be completed by early 2023.
During a site visit on Sunday, Transport Minister Sun Chanthol was told by representatives of the project’s developer that progress on construction work has reached 7 percent and that work on the main road will begin early next year.
Ministry spokesman Vasim Sorya confirmed the company’s remarks saying the main work will begin early 2020.
“We are still at the very early stages of the process but that’s mainly because the developer has been busy importing machinery and building offices and accommodation for workers. The company is working non-stop, days and nights,” Mr Sorya said.
“In the next three months, the company will start building some sections of the actual road. Construction is moving ahead as planned,” he noted.
Construction started in March this year with a budget of $1.9 billion.
The road is being built by China Road and Bridge Corporation through its subsidiary Cambodia PPSHV Expressway Co Ltd. Malaysian engineering Minconsult SDN BHD is providing technical advice.
The expressway begins in Por Sen Chey district in Phnom Penh.
It will have two lanes for each direction and a green median strip. It will stretch over 190 kilometres – shorter than the current road, which runs for 240 km. There will be several resting areas along the thoroughfare, according to the ministry.
The expressway will alleviate traffic from National Road 4, the busiest thoroughfare in the country, which connects the capital to Sihanoukville’s deep-sea port, the main gateway for exports and imports.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said at a groundbreaking ceremony for a road construction project in Sihanoukville last month that the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway will play an important role in the transportation of goods from Sihanoukville Autonomous Port to the capital.