Cambodia plans highway linking P’Penh, Sihanoukville

Cambodia Construction News

Sihanoukville and its nearby Song Sae islands will be hours closer once a new highway to Phnom Penh opens in 2020. (Bangkok Post photo)

Cambodia plans to build an expressway linking Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, finally replacing the two-lane road that links the capital with the country’s most-popular beach resort.

The Phnom Penh Post reported Monday that construction of the highway will begin next year. It will be built by Chinese contractor Henan Provincial Communications Planning, Survey, and Design Institute.

Once complete in 2020, the expressway will bring an end to the incessant traffic jams and long commute times on twisty National Road 4, said Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Peng Sovicheanou.

Current travel times between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville average 4.5 hours. The new highway could cut that to less than three hours.

“Have you ever travelled on Road Number 4? It’s very congested,” he told the Post. “Cambodia is following other countries like Korea, which have had huge economic booms.”

Mr Sovicheanou said the Chinese firm would pay the entire US$1.6 billion bill for the highway. Cambodia’s state-run AKP news agency said the final cost, however, was still unconfirmed.

The Chinese company also signed a contract last week to draw up a road network master plan for Cambodia.