KUCHING: The Sarawak portion of the Pan Borneo Highway, which is scheduled for completion by 2022, will be completely toll-free, says Works Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof.
However, the same might not be true over in Sabah, Fadillah told reporters here yesterday.
“In Sabah, we are not so sure yet. This is because it is still under discussion with concessionaires,” the minister said, speaking after an earth-breaking ceremony for Batang Samarahan Bridge.
“For Sarawak, yes, it will be toll-free. That was what we have discussed and agreed upon.”
The Pan Borneo Highway will mostly be built along the existing trunk road, which is the only road link between Sarawak and Sabah, via Brunei. The trunk road is about 90% single carriageway.
The proposed highway, which will be dual-carriageway, was first mooted when Sarawak and Sabah joined Malaya to form Malaysia in 1963. Originally, it was to be entirely publicly funded and be completed around 2025.
When tabling the last Budget, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that the project would be speeded up slightly via a public-private partnership, which should begin by 2016.
For this year, the trunk road is being upgraded with overtaking lanes. Fadillah said there were 22 overtaking lanes to be completed this year.
“The overtaking lanes are being funded under the old method. Ninety were proposed. With the additional 22 completed by the end of the year, we would have completed about half of the 90 proposed. But after this year, we’ll be adopting the new method,” he said.
The Sarawak portion of the proposed highway would cost RM14.5bil.