A ferry leaving the Svay Chrum village where two new bridges have been pegged for development.
A ferry leaving the Svay Chrum village where two new bridges have been pegged for development. Sreng Meng Srun

Svay Chrum bridges could spur further development

The government has announced plans to construct two bridges to link the Svay Chrum and Areyksat villages to mainland Phnom Penh which could boost land prices as well as spur on additional development. However, details concerning a construction timeframe remain unclear.

Following the announcement last week of the proposed new bridges, Svay Chrum’s commune chief, Hun Koy, told Post Property earlier this week that no news has yet been given regarding the proposed kick off timeline for construction.

Similarly, Va Simsorya, spokesman for Ministry of Public Works and Transport, said it is not yet known when the bridge development project will begin construction as the government has only just reached out to China for financial aid to fund the project.

Koy added that many residents within Svay Chrum village had already started selling off their land to investors following news of the impending construction.

“Almost all of the rice fields and dry season rice fields have been sold. All that remain are residential land properties; nevertheless, the residents will continue to be happy as long as they have their bridges,” he said.

He added, “The people in my village were overjoyed when they heard the news regarding the bridge projects, in which they hope will begin construction soon.”

According to Koy, land values in the area of Svay Chrum and around nearby Areyksat village that are adjacent to the river bank cost from $250 to $300 per square metre while land further back costs $50 to $100 per square metre.

While the initial planning and research process for the project have been completed, Simsorya was unsure what the capital cost of the project totalled.

Simsorya said the bridge would be connected to the planned 160-kilometre expressway extending from Areyksat, which is currently under investigation by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Bridge number one will start in the Kdey Ta Kdoy area, along National Road 1, heading towards Areyksat village while the second bridge will start in the Chroy Changvar area and end in the Svay Chrom village in Kandal.

Thida Ann, associate director of CBRE Cambodia, said it was possible that the development of the bridges would provide an impetus for further development, but added that it was probably going to take another five to 10 years after the bridges are completed for that to happen.

She continued, “The land value in this area has increased, but if you develop residential housing on this land, the land value will not exceed $200 per metre square.”

“Demanding an overly expensive price renders the property unsellable; it would also be an obstacle to developers.”