Rain-Damaged National Route 5 Causes Jam

For the second time this year, a traffic jam involving more than 1,000 vehicles has backed up Na­tional Route 5 between Poipet and Serei Saophoan town in Ban­teay Meanchey province, officials said this week.

Rain and mud bogged down cars, tourist buses and lorries be­tween Monday and Thursday, said Uk Chan, secretary of state for the Min­istry of Public Works and Trans­port.

“The road is too soft because of the heavy rains over the past days,” he said.

On Wednesday, the provincial pub­lic works department began clearing cars and trucks, department director Saing Savath said.

“About 20 percent of the road is damaged,” he said. “On Thursday there was no jam.”

He blamed the damage to the road on overloaded trucks and a lack of road maintenance funds.

Banteay Meanchey’s acting prov­incial cabinet chief Chuong Prasoeuth said the poor state of the road was impeding tourism.

“Some package tours canceled their trip because of the jam,” he said.

On Nov 19, Prime Minister Hun Sen will inaugurate the reconstruction of the Poipet to Serei Saophoan stretch of National Route 5, Trans­port Ministry Secretary of State Soung Heng said.

Thai company STP Construction won the $77 million contract to complete the job six months ago, Uk Chan said. The Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank-funded construction will take three years.

The benefit to tourism should be great, Tourism Ministry Secretary of State Thong Khon said.

“Already 1,000 foreigners arrive in Siem Reap [by road] each day,” he said.


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