KUCHING: Sarawak plans to build a northern coastal highway from Miri to Lawas to improve transport links in the area, says Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.
The Deputy Chief Minister said the 86km highway would be part of the coastal highway which 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 to Brunei, Sabah and Indonesia.
"With this highway, it will allow us to foster greater trade and investment which 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 for the proposed highway at Penview Convention Centre here on Friday (Sept 25).
Awang Tengah said the project would be implemented by the Northern Region Development
Agency (NRDA) 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, which would bypass Brunei to connect Miri to Mulu, Limbang and Lawas.
He said the Sarawak link road would be shorter in distance compared with 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 project was still in the planning stages.
"It will be a catalyst to develop the hinterland and rural parts of Limbang and Lawas," he said.
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