The government, with support from China, has issued more than $230 million to build a 1,600-metre bridge across the Mekong River with free access to connect with the Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway, providing people with more convenience to cross the bridge.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said at the opening ceremony of the construction of the Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway that a bridge will be built across the Mekong River and a 3,700-metre road to connect the bridge with the expressway. He added it will be of particular benefit to people living in Kean Svay and Lvea Aem districts in Kandal province.
Hun Sen added that citizens will have multiple choices of travelling, whether they want to take the Expressway or National Road, and can cross the new bridge with no charge. He gave the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway as an example of a road that charges a toll but saves time when compared to National Road 4. He added people can decide which one they prefer to use.
The Prime Minister said this is a great achievement that takes Cambodia’s infrastructure to another level of development.
He confirmed to Sun Chanthol, Minister of Public Works and Transport that “we build bridges across the Mekong River for free for people because we don’t want any challenges like the previous bridges in Koh Kong province and Prek Pnov, which were under Sino-Cambodian senator and businessman, Ly Hong Phat, and made people stressed with charges.”
He confirmed that the Cambodian government will support people with no charge when they travel across the bridges, but they still have to pay to use the Expressway because it is under an international cooperation project.
At the same time, with regard to the project, the Prime Minister said that currently tourism movement between Cambodia and Vietnam is more than 800 round-trips a month. After the Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway is complete, this will increase more benefits to Cambodia.
Hun Sen also advised the construction company that the new bridge and Expressway must be completed at the same time. He added that if the bridge is completed earlier, it will be better because people will be able to cross without having to use a boat as before.
Economic researcher, Hong Vannak, said that building a bridge between Kean Svay and Lvea Aem is a positive development. He added that it will help people who live in the areas and travel by boat, which can be dangerous, especially during the rainy season. Vannak added that if the project comes to fruition, it will play an important role in making life easier for residents.
“Both places will be more in touch with each other from this project. They can go to places faster, including travelling to some areas along the river including Neak Loeung and Takhmao. Also, it can make the real estate sector more developed because we can see anywhere that is close to bridges benefits from more roads to travel and new buildings,” he added.
He also noted that many citizens who have land near to the bridge, will see its value rise once construction is complete. At the same time, these areas will welcome new development as the economy grows.