Prime Minister Hun Sen inaugurated a 134km stretch of National Road 3 from Phnom Penh to Kampot town on March 2 after 34 months of construction with over $200 million in funding from China.
Speaking at the ceremony, he said the achievement came from cooperating with Cambodia’s most reliable development partner – China.
He said National Road 3 plays an important role because it leads to the provinces that produce salt, namely Kampot and neighbouring Kep, allowing for relatively quick and easy distribution to other provinces across the country. In addition, he commended the planting of trees and flowers along the road that make the trip more scenic and enjoyable.
Hun Sen also called on all road users to obey the road traffic laws and the speed limit and to help keep overweight trucks off of the roads due to the damage they cause and safety concerns.
“I would like to sincerely call on all truck drivers to not transport overweight loads of goods as our country is now deploying weigh stations on our roads . . . I call on everyone to obey the road traffic laws and to never overload their trucks. Do not drive too fast, either,” he said.
Hun Sen said the road construction strategy has changed in recent years and that previously longer roads were built, but they were not high quality.
“People said our roads are not durable. By the time we got to the end of the road’s construction, the stretch where we started from was already damaged. But now we’ve started to improve our road construction. It is more expensive but we have to build higher-quality roads from now on. They are more expensive because we lay AC concrete to ensure longer-lasting quality,” Hun Sen added.
Chinese ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian said the opening of the new road was an example of the fruits of the practical cooperation between Cambodia and China.
“Infrastructure development, such as roads, are meant to enhance Cambodia’s economic development and after just a few months we have already seen many achievements. The roads we planned together have been built and officially put into operation. And in the future, China will continue to provide assistance to Cambodia to the best of its ability to improve road networks throughout the Kingdom,” he said.
Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol thanked the people and government of China for providing grants and technical assistance to contribute to the rehabilitation and development of transport infrastructure in Cambodia.
He said this assistance would stimulate national economic growth and even reduce poverty.
He said the 134km stretch of road plays an important role in improving the efficiency of people’s travel, especially to Kampot and Kep provinces, which are important tourist destinations rich in natural resources with stunning landscapes, green valleys and beautiful beaches.
“And this road is durable and big. So it facilitates the transportation of all kinds of goods to domestic and international markets as well as reducing traffic jams along National Road 4,” he added.
Chanthol said National Road 3 is also part of the southern corridor along the coast of the Greater Mekong Sub-region, connecting ASEAN Highway 123 (AH-123) from Thailand to Cambodia via National Road 48 and crosses National Road 4 at Chamkar Loung.
It begins at the junction of Preah Sihanouk province’s Veal Renh and continues to Vietnam via National Road 33 through Kampot province’s Kampong Trach district to the Cambodia-Vietnam border crossing of Prek Chak to Ha Tien. It will help increase the volume of trade and tourism between Cambodia and neighbouring countries.
The National Road 3 project was built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and technically inspected by the Guangzhou Wanan Construction Supervision. The construction took 34 months to complete starting from October 2018 through July 2021 at a cost of about $215 million funded by grants and loans from the Chinese government.