Cambodia on Wednesday broke ground for the construction of the 4th Cambodia-China Friendship — Takhmao Bridge, across Tonle Bassac River in order to ease traveling and to boost social and economic development.
The bridge, 855 meters long and 13.5 meters wide, is located about 13 kilometers southeast of the capital Phnom Penh. It connects National Road No. 2 in the west of the river to National Road No. 1 in the east of the river.
The ground-breaking ceremony was presided over by Prime Minister Hun Sen and Charge d’Affairs of Chinese Embassy to Cambodia He Leping. It was also attended by top government officials, diplomatic corps, some 10,000 local people and students.
When addressing the ceremony, the premier said the bridge is very essential to contribute to the country’s economic development.
“The bridge will help people avoid heavy traffic in Phnom Penh, ” he said. “It will also be the corridor of ASEAN highway linked from Thailand’s Bangkok to Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh.”
It is the fourth Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge. The first three bridges are Se Kong Bridge in Stung Treng province, Prek Kdam Bridge on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, and Prek Tamak Bridge in Kandal province.
“China is the largest donor helping to build roads and bridges for Cambodia,” said Hun Sen, adding since 2004, China has lent more than 800 million U.S. dollars to Cambodia for road and bridge construction.
So far, more than 1,500 kilometers of roads and three long bridges of 3.1 kilometers have already been constructed with soft loans and grants from China.
“Cambodia would like to express sincere thanks to the government and people of China for providing timely grants and loans to Cambodia,” said the premier. “The start of the construction of the bridge today has come from good relations and cooperation between the two nations.”
The premier said the country will break ground for the construction of the fifth Cambodia-China Friendship Chroy Changvar Bridge in Phnom Penh in November.
Meanwhile, He Leping said China considered Cambodia as fraternal, good neighbor and friend and wishes to see the development of Cambodia.
“Every grant and loan that China provides to Cambodia comes from the sincere heart of the leaders and people of China,” he said. “China always gives attention to every proposal Cambodia has requested and the proposals that give a boost to economic development and poverty alleviation, China is pleased and has no hesitation to provide assistance.”
“China has a policy to help friends toward development,” he added.
According to the master-plan, the Chinese government provides soft loan to the construction of the 4th Cambodia-China Friendship Takhmao Bridge and its connecting roads of 12 kilometers, which is expected to cost 32.89 million U.S. dollars.
The Shanghai Construction (Group) General Company will undertake the construction, which is expected to complete in 42 months.