A new bridge across the Mekong River in Kratie province will be built under a $114 million loan from China, officials said on Monday.
Minister for Public Works and Transport, Sun Chanthol, said at a ceremony on Monday that the 1,761-meter bridge is the 11th Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge. It will be constructed by Shanghai Construction Company (SCG), with technical supervision from Guangzhou Wanan Technical Advisory Company.
Construction will take 42 months, finishing in 2026, Chanthol said.
He added that the bridge is an important strategic project connecting people who live in the area, and will be especially beneficial to those residing in remote areas.
“The bridge and connecting road will boost transport, trade and investment activities, as well as promote the development of agriculture, industry and tourism in the provinces in the Northeast, including the development triangle in line with the policy and master plan of the royal government,” Chanthol said.
Chanthol asked construction and technical companies to work properly and to quality standards. He also asked people who live there to be kind and tolerant to ensure smooth construction until the bridge is completed.
“I would like to ask for construction and technical companies to perform properly and successfully, with quality and efficiency. I would also like to ask the people who live near the construction site or are affected by the development project, [to have] compassion and high tolerance to promote the construction to run smoothly and complete as planned,” Chanthol said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen also said the bridge and connecting road will play an important role in facilitating people to travel to businesses, hospitals, and schools.
“I think that after finishing this bridge, all difficulties will be resolved. Paying money for ferries and spending a lot of time [traveling] will be finished. I remember in 2011 passing through Pchum Ben, there were deaths of people and children in Kratie province so we have to find a way to solve [that],” Hun Sen said.
There are four bridges across the Mekong River. These are the Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge in Stung Treng, Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge (Prek Tamak), Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge (Stung Trang-Krouch Chhmar) and Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge in Kratie, according to the Prime Minister.