Temple Road Work Resumes

Work on rebuilding the road to the Preah Vihear temple complex has resumed after a three-month break brought on earlier this year by the rainy season.

Nhem Saran, director of Public Works and Transportation for the Phnom Penh municipality, said Thursday construction teams are now “pushing ahead with the project” and that the route should be complete some time next year.

Construction of the stretch of road between Preah Vihear pro­vince’s Tbeng Meanchey district and the hill-top temple complex re­sumed Nov 2, when the area had dried out after the seasonal rains.

Workers from the municipality and an RCAF team are working on the project.

Preap Tan, governor of Preah Vihear province, explained Thurs­day why the project has dragged on: “The process has been very slow because we have had very heavy rain, and the mud has been an obstacle for heavy machinery.”

Although the road has not been entirely surfaced, all the foundations are now in place, making it completely passable, Nhem Saran said. “Some Cam­bo­dians and foreigners have already visited the temple by motorcycle, even though the road is not finished,” Preap Tan added.

The end is almost in sight for the construction teams, Nhem Saran said, as the last remaining stretches of road are the least damaged.

Nhem Saran said most of the stretch is demined, with a “countless” number of mines already re­moved. The area around the Preah Vihear temples was demined three years ago, but mines along the way remained.

As many as 1,000 tourists a day visited the temple via a Thai border crossing until Thailand closed the crossing in December 2001.

The move prompted the Cam­bo­dian government to begin the road-building project.

Work is also continuing on two radio masts in the area near the temple.

A radio team is in­stalling a 45-meter high antenna in Sra’em commune, while foundations for a MobiTel telephone mast in An­long Veng district, Oddar Mean­chey province, are now being constructed, Nhem Saran said.


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