The construction of the northern section of the National Road 5 (NR 5) from Battambang to Serey Sophorn city is completed and has been put in service. This National Road is considered part of the Asean Highway 1 (AH1) in the Asean region, and is an arterial route of the Southern Economic Corridor (SEC) in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).
The section of road was inaugurated yesterday by Prime Minister Hun Sen, Minister of Public Works Sun Chanthol, and Japanese Ambassador Mikami Masahiro.
In his speech, Chanthol outlined the potential of the road in connecting infrastructure, institutions and people living in Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provinces.
“It is a strategic road connecting the capital Phnom Penh to the border checkpoint at Poipet City. It is part of AH1 which connects Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh cities together. It is also the main artery of the SEC in the GMS,” he said.
The groundbreaking ceremony of the northern section of NR5 took place in March 26, 2018. It has taken 55 months to complete, with the work completed in September last year.
“The section of the road cost around $165 million, which was provided by the government of Japan through concessional loans. The Cambodian government provided funding to clear mines and UXOs along the road,” added Chanthol.
He also said that this section of the NR 5 is 84.74 kilometres long, and is a four lane concrete road covered by 15 centimetres of bitumen.
Teken-Taiyo Joint Venture and Daiho-Asanuma Joint Venture won the contracts to build the road, with KEI-OCC Katahira & Engineers International-Oriental Consultants Company Limited Joint Venture holding the techinal inpection rights.
Ambassador Masahiro said that efficient logistics and the ease of travel of the Cambodian people are important factors to boost the country’s economy.
“This section of the artery of the SEC connecting Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam will play a crucial role in the development of Cambodia,” he said.
According to a statement from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the improvement work on NR5 is divided in three sections, the Northern, Central and Southern. Each section has three zones.
“Work is being done not only on the road surface but also to improve the soil of the road’s foundations,” it said.
“They are forging ahead with new road expansion construction work in five cities along a stretch of about 309km (converting 2 lanes to 4 lanes), and a construction work of about 59km of bypass roads and bridge renovation,” added JICA.
JICA said that the project to improve the NR5 will be completed next year. As a result, JICA expects that the transportation sector in Cambodia will be improved. Traffic accidents will also be reduced, due to the change from two to four lanes, as well as the development of the bypass road.
“Additionally, by facilitating distribution, the road is expected to function as a major industrial artery of the entire Mekong region, not only Cambodia.”