SIBU: Construction work on the much awaited 17km-long Jalan Pasi, which will link Sarikei to Tanjung Manis Halal Hub, will start in the second quarter of this year.
The people in Sarikei Division had been asking for the project for more than a decade.
Assistant Minister of Coastal Road, Datuk Julaihi Narawi said the two-lane road is expected to be completed in four years' time.
On the project's cost, he said it would only be made known once the letter of award for the project is handed over to the successful contractor.
He said the project would be funded by the state government.
The project also involves the building of a 1.2km Batang Rajang Bridge.
Tender for the project was opened last year and closed on Dec 26 in the same year.
The project, he said, was launched by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on April 29, 2018 during a Sejiwa Senada programme in Bintangor.
"Once completed, the project will serve as an important link for the coastal road network as it will reduce travelling time between Sarikei and Tanjung Manis, and therefore, will facilitate the movement of people, goods and services between Tanjung Manis and other towns in Sarawak.
"Hopefully, this will encourage the opening up of more land to spur commercial, agriculture, tourism and other developments in the area," he said at a press conference on Friday (Feb 22).
Presently, the people in Sarikei Division have to drive all the way to Sibu before taking another road to Tanjung Manis, a 140km journey that takes two and a half hours.
But with the project, it takes only 45 minutes to get from Sarikei to Tanjung Manis.
On the Batang Rajang Bridge, he said they have agreed with the Sarawak and Sabah Shipowners Association, Sarawak Shipping Association and the Sibu Shipyards Association to increase its vertical clearance by 6m to 26m to allow for easy passage of larger ships.