KUCHING: The proposed northern coastal highway from Miri to Lawas will not only improve transport links but spur economic growth in the area, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.
He said the 86km link would be part of the coastal highway that was being implemented throughout the state from Kuching to Miri.
“The northern coastal highway is very important as it will provide much-needed road connectivity for efficient transportation and logistics in the region, which is strategically located near Brunei, Sabah and Indonesia.
“This highway will foster greater trade and investment that will bring economic prosperity to the region and benefit the people.“We have to bear in mind that the relocation of Indonesia’s capital from Jakarta to Kalimantan will have a major impact on cross-border trade involving Sarawak, ” he said when closing a value assessment lab on the proposed highway at Penview Convention Centre here.
Awang Tengah said the project would be implemented by the Northern Region Development Agency under the Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda).
He said the project cost was still being assessed while the implementation period would be 48 months.
In addition, Awang Tengah said the northern coastal highway would be integrated with the proposed Sarawak link road, that would bypass Brunei to connect Miri to Mulu, Limbang and Lawas.
He said the Sarawak link road would be shorter in distance compared to the Sabah-Sarawak link road (SSLR) project mooted by the Pakatan Harapan administration.
“We made some adjustments in terms of the alignment from the proposed SSLR.
“Part of the road is to be implemented under the Highlands Development Agency (HDA) from Miri to Mulu and Limbang to Gunung Buda.
“From there, it will go all the way to Lawas and connect to Long Semadoh and Ba’Kelalan. In the future we are also planning to connect it to Bario, ” Awang Tengah said, adding that the proposed road was still in the planning stage.
“It will be a catalyst to develop the hinterland and rural parts of Limbang and Lawas, ” he said.
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