Kratie-Kampong Thom bridge awaiting Hun Sen’s approval

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The bridge would span 1,761m and is projected to take two to three years to complete. Ministry of public works and transport

Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol is awaiting Prime Minister Hun Sen’s approval to build a bridge connecting the provinces of Kratie and Kampong Thom after the Chinese government agreed to provide a loan to Cambodia.

While inspecting the construction of the Phnom Penh- Sihanoukville expressway on June 21, Chanthol said the bridge construction project across the Mekong River linking Kratie to Kampong Thom had already been studied.

“We have sent a letter to Samdech Prime Minister for approval. Hopefully, we will sign an agreement to build this bridge [soon],” he said.

At the same time, he said the ministry had been improving the quality of a 93km stretch of road from Kratie to Stung Treng province with a grant from China, which is now also considering building a road leading to the Cambodian-Lao border.

Chanthol continued that the government had sought to increase the development of roads and bridges in remote areas to stimulate economic growth as well as attract more investors to Cambodia.

Kampong Thom provincial governor Sok Lou said he had yet to receive detailed information on the project, but he said if the project is successful it will benefit both local people and travellers from afar.

“If this project is viable, it will provide huge benefits for the whole Kampong Thom and Kratie provinces,” he said.

Kratie provincial governor Var Thorn could not be reached for comment on June 23.

Ministry spokesman Vasim Sorya said the ministry had submitted many project proposals to Hun Sen for review and approval.

“We submitted many proposal packages. One package contains two to three projects. The first package contains the projects of Roads 41, 33 and 31 and other projects. So, I do not know which packages Samdech Hun Sen will give priority to,” he said.

Sorya said he did not yet know the exact locations and costs of the bridge construction project connecting Kratie to Kampong Thom.

According to a study by the ministry, this bridge will span 1,761m and is projected to take two to three years to complete.