Real estate insiders are optimistic that this week’s ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of a concrete bridge on National Road 5 on the outskirts of Phnom Penh city centre will be the start of speculators pushing up property prices in the area.
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday presided over the ground-breaking ceremony before construction starts for a concrete bridge spanning nearly one kilometer across the Tonle Sap River from Chroy Changvar Satellite City to National Road 5, built on a budget of about $35 million.
Touch Samnang, the deputy director of the Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation (OCIC), said the OCIC planned to spend about $35 million from the Chroy Changvar satellite city project for the construction of the bridge across the Tonle Sap.
“This bridge connects the Sokimex gas station in Russei Keo district to the Chroy Changvar Development Zone in Prek Tasek commune, Chroy Changvar district, for the citizens’ travel, reducing traffic congestion that crosses the old Chroy Changvar Bridge,” Mr Samnang said.
“The groundbreaking for the bridge was held on the same day as the opening of another bridge, which will also be a $9 million construction site for people to cross the river, while the old Chroy Changvar Bridge was completely closed for repairs after Pchum Ben,” he added.
The new bridge will take about 28 months to complete, according to Mr Samnang, and the new concrete bridge will look like the Tsubasa Bridge.
The OCIC also invested a total of $1.6 billion in the Chroy Changvar Satellite City project.
According to the master plan, the 285-hectare satellite city will have schools, sports centres and a stadium, government complexes, a riverfront esplanade and a clubhouse.
Also included are power plants and round-the-clock security checkpoints.
The Chroy Changvar Satellite City includes three communes in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district – Chroy Changvar, Prek Leap and Prek Tasek.
Pressure from Phnom Penh’s burgeoning population is forcing real estate prices in the city to skyrocket, say analysts. This, they say, is causing many to live in cramped conditions or move out to poorly developed, semi-urban areas where the fringe of the city meets rural areas.
Chrek Soknim, the CEO of Century 21 Mekong, said improving the infrastructure is one of the vital catalysts which automatically boosts property prices, while the increasing population in the city needs more property development out of the city.
“Phnom Penh city is getting more crowded due to the increasing inflow of people who come to work in the city, so satellite cities will play a vital role to alleviate the problem,” Mr Soknim told Khmer Times.
The prime minister said that the new bridge will help the traffic flow on national road 6 and 5, while the old Chroy Changvar bridge gets repaired. He added that the new bridge will make travel easier as well as transporting goods from the provinces to Phnom Penh and from Phnom Penh to the provinces, which are in constant growth.
He also said it will be easier for people to travel from Russey Keo to the Chroy Changvar development area.
“At present, the Royal Government has made great efforts to build necessary infrastructure such as roads and bridges across the river and many other projects,” he said.
“Previously, Phnom Penh covered about 300 square kilometres, but now it has expanded to 700 square kilometres with new achievements and infrastructure to serve the needs of the people.
“In the past, the Prek Tasek area in Kandal has not been very crowded and not located in Phnom Penh, but now the area is integrated into Phnom Penh,” he added.