A 200-metre temporary floating bridge that will take people to Angkor Wat while the original bridge is repaired should be open for use this week.
Apsara, the authority responsible for protecting and developing the temple complex, says the original bridge, Spean Harl, will close as soon as its replacement is ready.
Spokesman Long Kosal says the temporary structure will be able to support nearly 6,400 people with a total weight of more than 400 tonnes at one time.
Sok Sangvar, deputy director-general of the Apsara Authority, says the floating bridge, which has taken five months to build, will be permanently guarded by officials at each end.
The floating bridge is made from plastic air bags and is to the south of Spean Harl, which is expected to be ready for reopening within three years.
Apsara has previously said that the air bags’ total area is 1,874 square metres and that one square metre can support 272 kilograms.
“We assume that one person weighs 80 kilograms, so this floating bridge can support a total of 6,371 people at the same time,” said Heng Kim Leng, Apsara’s director of technical support.
The original bridge, west of the temple, is about 190 metres long. The first phase of repairs was completed in 2007 by the Apsara Authority and Sophia University, which spent 12 years repairing one 90-metre section.
In May, the Apsara Authority and its Japanese counterpart signed an agreement and held a ground-breaking ceremony for the second phase of repairs, which will fix the other 100 metres at a total cost of nearly $1.6 million.