Source: Angkor.co, November 1st, 2014
As Phnom Penh city is in the stage of development and growth, many projects have been implemented such as the drainage system improvement projects, the waste management projects, and the public transportation plan. Similarly, Phnom Penh capital hall also puts an eye on the road development in the city as some roads that were already constructed got damaged and others need to be expanded or maintenance before they get worse. According to Phnom Penh capital hall in 2011 data, the total length of the capital roads was 1,379,487.00 meter consisting of three different types of road namely 215,286.00 meters of AC road, 279,753.00 meters of DBST roads, and 206,730.00 meters of concrete road.
At the meantime, there are many roads being constructed such as the one that commonly known by Phnom Penh residents as Chamka Dong road. This road was built more than once already because it got damaged by heavy trucks which is beyond road capacity. Other roads in the center of city are also being reconstructed due to the drainage renovation. For example, street 63 between Sihanouk Boulevard and street 158 was fixed again in 2013 after being ripped up by the drainage project supported by The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Similarly, Hanoi Street that was first built in 2004 with the budget of 300,000 USD from Vietnamese government and 220,000 USD from Phnom Penh city hall is also being built again because it was damaged, so currently the capital hall is building the street again with better quality to avoid another reconstruction. Another example of road project is the three ring road projects which was brought into discussion in 2011. The first existing ring road was constructed from Chroy Chang Va Bridge linked to Road No. 70 up to Road No. 271 and linked to Preah Monivong Bridge. Second ring road is from Kilometer No. 9 of National Road 5 to Kilometer No. 12 of National Road1 at Prek Ek and linked to National Road. 6A at Svay Chrom ferry port which connected to National Road. 1 in Sangkat Prek Ek. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport had been studying about this second ring road with technical experts from China by consuming 100% loan for its construction and the Royal Government would be responsible for the impacts. The third ring road is to be constructed from Prek Pnov bridge of National Road. 5 to Kilometer No. 24 of National Road.1 in Dey Eth commune, Kien Svay District which had already studied by the Republic of Korea by utilizing 50% of the budget from investment and another 50% from loan; any impacts would be covered by the Royal Government. This road would link back to Prek Pnov Bridge. During the discussion back in 2011, the Capital Hall fully supported the first and second ring road project as they fall into the 2020 Master Plan of Phnom Penh city. However, for the third ring road project, the capital hall would suggest the Department of Land Management, Urbanization, Construction and Cadastral and the Department of Public Works and Transport to study more deeply into the plan regarding its demographic impacts and cost estimation before implementation.
As a matter of fact, road condition is very necessary for urban development of Phnom Penh capital because it has impacts in many aspect such as:
It is important that all roads, if possible, are smooth and in good condition because every resident needs it. It is really stressful to commute to work every day on divot roads with a lot big holes of rain water along the way. Unfortunately, some Phnom Penh residents experience this kind of situation all the time especially during rainy season. The authority might somehow see a problem of damaged road as a small or not urgent matter, but it is really annoying and terrible for the residents. One small example of this is that some drivers would have to avoid travelling on 1019 street connecting street 2004 because this road is so divot that small car drivers find it difficult to drive on. What is more, good road condition also increases road safety and eases traffic jam because people can commute easily with short time spent.
The condition of road is necessary to determine the value of particular area in the city. Normally, any areas having good roads and easily accessible are in higher value compared to those which do not even have big road enough to travel on. In addition, the land price usually goes up when one particular area have good road condition. This is because good road make daily life of the people in that area more convenient, so people would like to live there. As a result, the land area goes up as it is desired by many people. For example, it is believed those housing in Chamka Dong area will be more expensive when the road finishes, and this is likely to be true because such case happens a lot in other areas of Phnom Penh capital already.
One real estate company posted an article saying that Poor Infrastructure hinders Phnom Penh’s construction growth. Such infrastructure include ineffective waste management, lack of parking lot, traffic congestion and of course pothole-ridden street. Poor road condition poses a barrier for development as foreign and local investors feel insecure to invest in such areas. One example is that construction projects like building a condominium and housing are usually kicked off in areas where there are plans for road improvements from the government. This shows that if there are enough good infrastructure in the capital, surely development speed would be faster as it provides good investment environment.
To sum up, road is a crucial element for development and growth of the city as well as the country. Good roads make life easier, connect people from place to place, and enable faster transportation which is convenient for production flow from areas to areas. Because of its significant, it is recommended that the government put more focus on building big and good quality roads to keep up with development speed of the city.