TAKEO: Citizens who attended the inauguration ceremony of National Road No. 3 from Chom Chao to Kampot province on Wednesday morning expressed their happiness for the new section of the road and described being satisfied with the new ease of road use after construction had been completed.
Outside a factory with more than 2,000 workers at Tram Kak district in Takeo province, 54-year-old Kong Mai, was waiting for the presence of Prime Minister Hun Sen with a happy face. He spoke with EAC News about the joy of participating in this morning's program, especially the official launch of the new section of National Road No. 3.
“Before, it took three hours to drive from Phnom Penh to Kampot on this road, but now the trip takes only an hour and a half, because the road is clean and in good condition. The current road is wide, unlike how narrow it was before when there were many traffic accidents. Now I am very happy that the Prime Minister built this road,” he said.
61-year-old Ouch Ren held a similar opinion. He said, "Since 1998, it has been very difficult! The road had many bumps and was small, it was very difficult to drive on it and we had to find another way. To go to Kampot it would take three to four hours at a time, but now from Kampong Speu, it takes only around an hour or more to arrive, it is very reasonable! I am happy that the Prime Minister has made this path."
Nar Saron, who got up to attend the inauguration ceremony at 5:30 AM in the morning, shared her experience of using National Road No. 3 after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime, saying that this road was very difficult to travel on because of its small size and damage. She said that it used to take three hours to travel from Takeo province.
"When it comes to the Pol Pot era, the road was very difficult to use. There were many breakages in the road, but now it is very easy to use,” she said.
All citizens in attendance at the inauguration ceremony expressed similar sentiments regarding the enhanced access the new section of the road allowed. Everyone appeared very satisfied with the now expanded and upgraded road, which has helped greatly in terms of improving road safety and business.
The new section of National Road No. 3 extends from Phnom Penh to Kampot and is more than 134 kilometers long. The road passes through five capitals and provinces, including Phnom Penh, Kandal, Kampong Speu, Takeo and Kampot. It was built from October 2018 to July 2021, taking 34 months to build, with a total budget of more than 215 million US dollars, with assistance provided by the People's Republic of China, together with the national budget of the Royal Government of Cambodia.
This road acts as a potential economic and tourism route for Cambodia, connecting all the way to the Sihanoukville International Seaport, as well as the Cambodian-Thai border in Koh Kong province. It is also part of the southern seabed corridor of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), connecting Asian Highway 123 (AH 123) from Thailand to Cambodia and from Cambodia to Vietnam, which will help boost trade and tourism between Cambodia and its neighboring countries as well.