In order to reduce traffic congestion and make it easier for people to travel during the upcoming Pchum Ben holiday period, Prime Minister Hun Manet has announced that the capital’s new cable-stay bridge between Koh Pich and Koh Norea will be temporarily opened.

An October 7 statement from the Government Spokesperson Unit said one side of the bridge would be open from October 13-15 for two-way traffic. A weight limit of five tonnes will be imposed on vehicles using the bridge.

The statement quoted Phnom Penh governor Khuong Sreng as saying that traffic would be temporarily suspended after the three-day national holiday.

The public will have to wait until October 20 or 23, when construction will be completed and the bridge formally inaugurated.

The bridge aims to address traffic congestion at the Monivong Bridge, which connect the bustling Chhbar Ampov commune to central Phnom Penh. Although a passenger ferry service operates near the site of the new bridge, it is not sufficient to meet the needs of the capital’s rapidly growing fleet of private vehicles, officials said.

Construction of the bridge is being undertaken by the Overseas Cambodian Investment Corporation (OCIC).

Former Prime Minister Hun Sen presided over the project’s groundbreaking in October 2020, with construction reportedly 95 per cent complete now.