Public Warned of Traffic Delays Due to Drainage

Phnom Penh Municipality has warned the public to expect prolonged traffic disturbances around O’Russei market in Prampi Makara district after construction began in the area Monday as part of the ongoing Japan-funded drainage project, a statement from City Hall said.

The public has been asked for their patience as sections of road in the vicinity of the busy market will be dug up over the next seven months to lay new drainage pipes—part of Phase 3 of the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) $350-million rehabilitation of Phnom Penh’s antiquated drainage system.

“Due to efforts to resolve the problem of flooding during rainy season, all members of the public must be aware that disturbances will occur as traffic access is affected across the construction zones,” the statement says, adding that drivers are advised to detour away from the O’Russei area during the construction period to ease congestion.

The initial two phases of the project were carried out between 1999 and 2009, while Phase 3 of the project began in September 2012 and is scheduled to wrap up in 2015. A concurrent drainage-cleaning project is also ongoing, and authorities hope that the completion of both will alleviate rainy season flooding in the city.

The first section of road to be ripped up in the newest stage of construction will be a 236-meter stretch of Street 107, from Street 182 to Street 170, which is expected to be completed sometime in March, the statement says.

On April 21, digging will begin on Street 111 from Street 182 to Street 166, with the work wrapping up by June 19, while the three months from May to August will see 459 meters of pipe laid along Street 182 from streets 163 to 167.

Residents of the city have grown accustomed over the past year to traffic jams and detours as a result of the project, while stretches of road ostensibly completed, such as Street 63, have been ripped up again and again as issues with newly laid pipes are corrected.

“I ask people please, don’t be angry about the construction process, as JICA’s project will improve the problem of flooding in Phnom Penh during rainy season,” said Som Sovann, Prampi Makara district governor.

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