Four infrastructure projects in Sarawak behind schedule

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Four projects in the state—Batang Samarahan Bridge, upgrading of Mile 10 to 15 Kuching-Serian road, a bridge across Rimbas River, and the road connecting E-Mart Matang to Stapok/Batu Kawah—are behind schedule.

Minister of Works Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the Batang Samarahan Bridge project “is a bit behind time” as the contractor faced technical hiccups.

“The project is 44 per cent completed, and the scheduled completion date is Jan 29, 2018. With the contractor’s track record, they can catch up in the next six months,” he told reporters after visiting the project site.

“The project should be completed on time, if not ahead of time.”

Fadillah said the 774-metre dual carriageway bridge, costing RM94 million, would benefit about 70,000 residents in Asajaya who need to travel to Kuching.

As for the stretch from Mile 10 to 15, described as the bottleneck of Kuching-Serian Road, it is 11.75 per cent completed as of yesterday.

“The project should be 22 per cent completed by now, but it is behind time due to challenges such as busy traffic and utility relocation.”

According to him, steps could be taken to catch up on lost time, including better traffic management without compromising motorists’ safety.

“The Rimbas bridge project in Pusa, Betong, is only 76.3 per cent completed. It should have been 93.8 per cent.”

He warned that should the contractor failed to deliver, the government would appoint a new one.

On the E-Mart Matang and Stapok/Batu Kawah road, Fadillah said stern action had been taken against the contractor.

“It is only 21.5 per cent completed, instead of the scheduled 24.3 per cent.”

Meanwhile, Fadillah said the state was also bidding for federal funds under the 11th Malaysia Plan for several projects, including a flyover at Jalan Medan Jaya/Jalan Tun Hussein Onn in Bintulu, Rambungan Matang Bridge, Batang Lupar Bridge, and a hybrid overhead bridge near Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s new campus.

On the proposed Batang Lupar Bridge, he said the money would be sourced from the federal and state governments.

“The consultant for the project has already been approved, and we will get more consultants to do detailed studies on social impact and environment,” he said, adding that the tender process could start at the end of next year.

During a function earlier, Fadillah said the Batang Satong Bridge was going through an audit for the safety of users.

“We have not opened the bridge to the public yet as there are audit issues. We have to make sure it is safe before opening it.”

He added that the bridge might be ready for use after this Oct 15.-BP

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