The construction of Phnom Penh’s third ring road began on Monday, with the 53km thoroughfare estimated to cost $273 million in a jointly financed project by China and the Cambodian government.
The ring road will be built by Chinese company Shanghai Construction Group Co Ltd, with technical inspections by Chinese-based consulting technical firm Guangzhou Wanan Construction Supervision Co Ltd. Construction is slated to take 42 months, with the road set to open by 2021. It will link National Roads 4 and 1, and stretch along 15.4km in Phnom Penh and 37.5km in Kandal province.
The road, which will be 27m wide in the capital and 25m outside, will be built using concrete and steel. It will be divided into two lanes in each direction, with a 3.5m wide garden serving as a median.
The road will also include a motorbike lane and a pedestrian sidewalk on both sides.
The project will cost $273 million, which will come from concessional financing by the Chinese government, with a contribution from the Cambodian government dedicated to compensating residents impacted by the road’s construction, mine and unexploded ordnance clearing and paying royalties.
Phnom Penh currently has three city belt roads. The first connects Chroy Changvar Bridge to Chbar Ampov Bridge.
The second connects Kob Srov Road to National Highway 2 in Kandal province’s Prek Samrong village.
Speaking at Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony, Prime Minister Hun Sen said the third ring road will play an important role in promoting national economic growth and will “help reduce congestion and benefit our people”.
He said that Cambodia’s enduring peace and rising living standards are increasing the number of vehicles in circulation, resulting in a continuous need for more roads.
Four flyover bridges will be constructed along the new ring road crossing National Roads 4, 3, 2 and 21 at a total length of 1km. Two bridges across the Tonle Bassac River will be also constructed to connect Koh Anlong Chin at both sides at a total length of 996m.
Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said economic growth and population increases have made Phnom Penh congested, requiring more infrastructure to be built. He added that another section of the ring road, which is still in planning, will link Kob Srov Road, National Road 5, Win-Win Street and National Road 6.
“The road will turn into a large and modern city belt road serving as a [bypass] transport route to avoid entering Phnom Penh and to serve as Asean Highways [AH1 and AH11] main corridors to the Greater Mekong Sub-region,” he said.
Cambodia Freight Forwarders Association president Sin Chanthy welcomed the road, saying infrastructure construction is positive for the transport sector, as the Kingdom sees a daily increase in the movement of goods.
“It will make the transportation of goods easier. It will save a lot of time and alleviate traffic jams in the city centre,” he said.
He added that Cambodia’s cargo deliveries are to increase two- or three-fold by 2023, citing a previous Japan International Cooperation Agency study.