Cambodia’s first motorway Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville deemed a success

PHOTO: Cambodia's first expressway, connecting Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville saw 80,000 cars a week in its first test run. (via Khmer Times)

This week a test run of Cambodia’s first motorway saw over 80,000 vehicles driving the route. After being under construction for over three years, the motorway opened its roadway to the public on October 1 as a one-month trial. The road is 187 kilometres long and runs from the capital city of Phnom Penh to the popular port and tourist destination of Sihanoukville. It cuts the drive time between the two cities by more than half.

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport for Cambodia said the motorway was a viable economic route. The Cambodian PPSHV Expressway Co that operates the freeway measured the traffic usage for the first week, confirming its success and popularity.

“From October 1 to 7, the total traffic volume on the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway was 80,231. On average, the daily traffic volume was about 11,460.”

The road is two lanes in each direction plus a side lane for emergency use on each shoulder. Fully paved with asphalt concrete, drivers can make the run in about two hours now instead of the previous five-hour journey on the rougher National Road 4. This is great news for travellers and Cambodian residents alike.

The road has also been utilised by cargo trucks who can now move goods at a much faster pace and more economical route. The Ministry of Commerce’s Undersecretary of State pointed out that transportation costs can be greatly reduced by the new motorway, not to mention the convenience of saved time and lightened traffic along the way. According to the Bangkok Post, they said it was vital for tourism and would be an overall boost to the economy.

The Minister of Public Works and Transport agreed when he visited the new route, saying that the average of over 11,000 users per day showed the usefulness of the motorway and the benefit it provides to Cambodia.

“This proves that the expressway is indeed a potential economic route. The road plays an essential role in helping boost Cambodia’s economic growth as it links the capital city to the country’s largest seaport.”

The motorway was built with Chinese backing as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. China Road and Bridge Corporation invested US$2 billion into the three years of construction it took to complete the route.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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