PHNOM PENH, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 71 percent of the construction work on the Chinese-invested Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway has been completed despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cambodian Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT) said in a news release on Sunday.
MPWT's secretary of state Yit Bunna visited the construction site in southwestern Kampong Speu province on Friday, the ministry said, adding that the visit was to track the project progress.
The construction work of the 190-kilometer-long and 24.5-meter-wide expressway began in March 2019.
Invested by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), the nearly 2 billion U.S. dollar expressway will connect the national capital Phnom Penh to the province of Preah Sihanouk known for its deep-sea port in southwestern Cambodia, it said.
"It is the first-ever expressway project in Cambodia and is the most important strategic route in the kingdom, reducing travel time between Phnom Penh and Preah Sihanouk province's sea port from five hours to two hours and also saving transportation cost," the MPWT added.
The expressway is one of the Cambodia-China cooperation projects under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Nin Saphon, chairwoman of the National Assembly's Commission on Public Works, Industry, Mines, Energy, Commerce, and Land Management, said in June during a visit to the project that the expressway was another testament to the unbreakable ironclad friendship between Cambodia and China.
Hu Zhaoguang, general manager of the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway project, said that the project uses environment-friendly technologies, aiming to build a "green expressway" for sustainable development. Enditem