Construction Crews in ‘Nonstop’ Patchwork Repairs of National Road 3

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Road repairs on National Road 3 on November 21, 2022. (Prey Nob governor Y Thearin’s Facebook page)
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Government construction teams are constantly having to repair sections of National Road 3 — which was extensively damaged earlier this year — as the “nonstop” makeshift restorations are not lasting long.

VOD reported in September that an around 20-km section of National Road 3 that connects Kampot to Preah Sihanouk province had lost its tarmac and was left with deep gashes of red mud. The deterioration of the heavy-use road was a ”nightmare” for local residents and passengers alike.

The Public Works and Transport Ministry said at the time they could only make temporary repairs to the road because they were waiting for $60-$70 million in funding from China, which could take till 2024. The badly damaged stretch of road extends from Trapaing Ropov in Kampot to Veal Rinh in Preah Sihanouk.

Officials said Monday that repair teams were working on restoring the road but the temporary nature of the repairs meant they had to return to sections of the national road to redo the work.

Pal Chandara, a ministry spokesperson, said a construction team was working on the road and would be kept on standby till 2024 to continue the patchwork repairs.

“The temporary repairs do not last long. Therefore, I cannot say when we will finish it,” Chandara said. “We have the construction team over there to help fix the damaged parts of the road to enable residents to use this road a bit easier.”

Y Thearin, district governor for Prey Nob, which includes Veal Rinh, said repairs had begun in mid-September, but that some stretches of the road were damaged again. The pot holes had reappeared and, when dry, dust would blow around the area, Thearin said.

He said the ministry’s construction team was routinely surveying the damaged areas and fixing them, though admitted that this cycle would repeat itself till major repairs could be conducted.

“So the construction team needs to go there and repair it again,” said Thearin. ”This is a nonstop temporary repair until the mega plan can start.”

“However, it is better compared to before, and people are more likely happy with that.”

Residents had previously told VOD that it took them sometimes 90 minutes to cross the stretch of road and that it had degraded more during the rains.

Him Phalla, a 30-year-old resident of Bokor city, said the road conditions had improved but that there was still a lot of dust from the mud and additionally from the construction work.

His travel time from Bokor to Veal Rinh had dropped to around an hour, but it would take longer when sections were degraded again.

“The holes on the road reappear around two or three days after they were repaired. Around 50% of the road is now damaged again,” he said.

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