November 2, 2011

Work on 5th Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge begins in Cambodia's capital


PHNOM PENH, Nov. 2 -- Cambodia on Wednesday broke ground for the construction of the 5th Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge, or 2nd Chroy Changvar Bridge, across Tonle Sap River to reduce traffic congestion and to keep up with the country's fast pace of economic development.

The would-be 719-meter bridge is located in Phnom Penh's Russei Keo district, connecting the capital Phnom Penh in the west of the river to National Road No. 6 in the east of the river.

The bridge is in parallel with the existing Cambodia-Japan Friendship Bridge, or Chroy Changvar Bridge.

The ground-breaking ceremony was presided over by Prime Minister Hun Sen and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Pan Guangxue, and was also attended by top government officials, diplomatic corps, some 12,000 local people and students.

Speaking at the ceremony, the premier said the bridge is very essential to ease traffic from the eastern and northeastern parts of Cambodia into Phnom Penh and the construction is to keep up with the country's rapid growth of development.

"The bridge connects Phnom Penh to the National Road No. 6, which is the strategic road for the economic development, it links to ASEAN highway and Greater Mekong Sub-region highway," he said.

Hun Sen said it is the fifth Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge. The first four bridges are Se Kong Bridge in Stung Treng province, Prek Kdam Bridge on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Prek Tamak Bridge in Kandal province, and constructing Takhmao Bridge across Tonle Bassac River in Kandal province.

"All achievements today come from the very good relations between Cambodia and China leaders at all levels," he said.

There would be two new Cambodia-China Friendship Bridges in the near future, he said.

"On behalf of the government of Cambodia and Cambodian people,I 'd like to express sincere and heartfelt thanks to the government of China and her people for the constant contributions to the development of Cambodia," he said.

Meanwhile, Pan Guangxue said as a good friend of Cambodia, China was pleased to see the development of Cambodia.

"China will continue to help Cambodia its effort to develop the economy," he said. "China has no any hesitation to assist Cambodia for any development proposal that Cambodia raises and that proposal boosts economic growth and poverty reduction."

According to the master-plan, the construction of the 5th Cambodia-China Friendship Chroy Changvar Bridge is made possible under the China's soft loan of 27.5 million U.S. dollars.

The China Road and Bridge Corporation will undertake the construction, which is expected to complete in 38 months.

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