Friday, April 23, 2021

Sarawak river bridge to help boost development, says CM

Abang Johari Openg says the Batang Lupar bridge will be toll-free.

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A new bridge to be built in Sarawak is expected to help boost economic activity in the state once construction is completed in 2025.

The 4.8km Batang Lupar bridge will span the massive river connecting Sebuyau to Sibu and, along with 10 other major bridges, will change the overall landscape of the state as well as the people’s socioeconomic situation, Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said today.

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of the bridge today, he said it would be the longest river bridge in the country, and would pave the way for more development through use of modern technology.

“As Tok Nan wished, the bridge will be toll-free,” he added, referring to Sarawak’s former chief minister, the late Adenan Satem.

He said the cost of all bridges constructed under the Sarawak Second Trunk Road project was borne by the GPS government except for Batang Sadong and Samarahan, which were funded by the federal government under Barisan Nasional.

“We are committed to implementing this mega bridge project after it was scrapped by the Pakatan Harapan government,” he added.

Deputy Chief Minister James Jemut Masing said Sarawak needs to build more roads in the lower river regions, otherwise 65% of the state’s population would be deprived due to a lack of road connectivity.

“If we wish to improve our livelihoods and standard of living, we must build more roads,” he said. “This means more bridges need to be built.”

He added however that this would be a costly exercise for the state unless the federal government pitches in.

Masing, who is also state infrastructure and ports development minister, said the bridges would provide better access to villages, longhouses, towns and cities.

“These bridges are built at a construction cost of not more than RM4 billion.

“The 11 bridges funded by the Sarawak government are the Batang Lupar bridge 1 and Batang Lupar bridge 2, Batang Rambungan bridge, Sejingkat bridge, Batang Saribas bridge, Sungai Krian bridge, Batang Rajang bridge, Batang Paloh bridge, Muara Lassa bridge, Batang Igan bridge, and the Bintulu-Jepak bridge.”

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