KUCHING (May 16): The RM11 billion worth of projects, involving the Coastal Road Network and Second Trunk Road, will be implemented on open-tender basis, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.
Masing, who is also Sarawak Infrastructure Development and Transportation Minister, said funds were available to proceed with the projects in improving infrastructure to ensure connectivity between the major towns and cities.
“This open-tender basis enables the Sarawak Government to get the most qualified contractor technically and commercially, hence enabling it to save a total of RM600 million.
“The Coastal Road projects are currently undergoing tendering process while the Second Trunk Road projects are at the design stage and expected to be tendered by the end of this year or beginning of 2020,” he said in a statement here today.
He said the two colossal infrastructure projects — Coastal Road Network and the Second Trunk Road — under the purview of his Ministry were expected to be completed within the next five years.
Masing said the Coastal Road Network project, which spans a distance of 896km, would seamlessly connect towns such as Kota Samarahan, Asajaya, Sadong Jaya, Sebuyau, Kabong, Tanjung Manis, Daro, Matu, Igan, Oya, Mukah, Balingian, Bintulu and Miri to the Pan Borneo Highway.
The 235-km Second Trunk Road to link Kuching-Sibu with the Pan Borneo Highway through Jalan Sebuyau-Sri Aman-Betong, he said would shorten driving time from Kuching to Sibu by half from the usual five hours, when completed.
“It will also encourage and boost socio-economic activities to raise the overall standard of living of the people,” he said.
The Coastal Road Network will cross nine major rivers which requires the construction of bridges, namely Batang Saribas Bridge, which is expected to be completed in June 2023 at an estimated cost of RM496 million.
Others are Sungai Krian Bridge (costing RM174 million); Batang Rejang Bridge costing RM450 million; Batang Paloh Bridge (costing RM567 million); Muara Lassa Bridge (costing RM665 million); Bintulu-Jepak Bridge (costing RM572 million); Batang Rambungan Bridge (costing RM142 million); Batang Igan Bridge (costing RM305.8 million; and Batang Lupar Bridge (costing RM866 million).
He said the Batang Rambungan Bridge and Batang Igan Bridge were originally Federal-funded projects but had now been undertaken by the Sarawak Government, while the Batang Lupar Bridge, which was originally based on a 50:50 sharing with the Federal Government, had also been fully undertaken by Sarawak Government.