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Sejingkat’s 1.28km bridge the final link to completing coastal highway in S’wak
Posted on : 22 Nov 2021  Source of News: The Borneo Post
 

Abang Johari (centre) giving a thump-up alongside with other elected people representatives from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) after symbolically performing the earth-breaking for the project. — Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING (Nov 21): The 1.28 kilometre (km) cable-stayed bridge across Sarawak River at Sejingkat, the third-longest of its kind in the country, will be the final link to completing the ambitious 896 km coastal highway across the state once completed.

The cable-stayed bridge is part of a development plan to provide an alternative route linking Kuching and Samarahan in order to alleviate traffic congestion during peak hours.

During the earthbreaking ceremony for the bridge at Sejingkat today, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said that the historic cable-stayed bridge was the last of the 14 bridges to be built under the coastal highway project.

He said that the main reason for constructing an alternative road between Kuching and Samarahan was due to the latter witnessing a significant increase in local population in the past years.

“Looking at the development in Samarahan, we have two universities here namely Universiti Teknologi Mara (UITM) and Universiti Sarawak Malaysia (Unimas). There is also the Sarawak Heart Centre, a high-tech park and the proposal to set up a Sarawak Infectious Disease Centre.”

He added that another residential area witnessing rapid development was Petra Jaya with a population of almost 300,000.

Abang Johari said that once all the road connectivity projects in the plan have been completed, it would take only 30 minutes to travel between Julau and Sibu and two-and-a-half hours from Demak Laut to Sibu.

Julaihi speaking during the earth-breaking ceremony of the cable-stayed bridge today. — Photo by Roystein Emmor

Meanwhile, Sebuyau assemblyman and Assistant Minister of Infrastructure and Ports Development Datuk Julaihi Narawi said that the cable-stayed bridge was part of the state government’s efforts in improving the connectivity infrastructure alongside the Pan Borneo Highway.

“I believe that the bridge will be an iconic structure to dot the landscape in Kuching and Samarahan. It will be the third-longest cable-stayed bridge in the country,” he said during the ceremony.

Julaihi said that the traffic congestion along the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway could exceed an hour during peak hours for motorists heading or travelling back from work in the city centre.

He also pointed out that the second Kuching-Samarahan Trunk Road would improve connectivity from the coastal highway to the industrial zones in the surrounding areas, namely Pending Industrial Estate, Demak Laut Industrial Park, Sama Jaya Free Industrial Zone and Kota Samarahan Industrial Estate.

Julaihi added that the cable-stayed bridge at Sejingkat would open up more socioeconomic sectors, spanning the sectors of agriculture, fishery as well as activities under Sarawak Corridor of Renewable.

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Abang Johari (centre) being briefed on the third-longest cable-stayed bridge in the country to be built at Sejingkat crossing the Sarawak River. – Photo by Roystein Emmor.

Meanwhile, at a press conference held after the earthbreaking ceremony, Abang Johari mentioned that a new dual-carriageway road would be constructed near the Samarahan bridge all the way to Sebuyau.

According to a statement released by the Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak, the coastal highway together with the second trunk road network is a mega-project worth RM11 billion and is designed to link the major coastal towns such as Kuching, Kota Samarahan, Betong, Sarikei, Sibu, Mukah, Bintulu and Miri.

The new 1.281-kilometre dual-carriageway cable-stayed bridge at Sejingkat will be built according to R5 standard of JKR.

The bridge construction project was awarded to KACC construction Sdn Bhd and it is expected to be completed within 48 months by July 23, 2023.

Other components of the project include upgrading the existing 9 km single-carriageway road at Jalan Kampung Tanjung Bako from JKR R3 to R5, including ground treatment and building new road junctions as part of the Second Kuching-Samarahan Trunk Road.

It covers the upgrading and widening of the two-lane single-carriageway approach road to JKR R5 standard connecting to the Sejingkat bridge and also works on the three-legged roundabout near Kuching-Samarahan expressway junction.

The project was awarded to Hock Seng Lee Berhad and it is expected to be completed within 24 months by Aug 11, 2023.

The third component covers the constructing of a 7 km single-carriageway new road with JKR R5 standard linking the three-legged roundabout along the Second Kuching-Samarahan Trunk Road to Batang Samarahan Bridge’s roundabout.

This third component project was awarded to Gasing Gemilang Sdn Bhd and it is expected to be completed within 36 months by June 7, 2024.