S'wak to complete major bridge projects to replace ferry services by 2025, says CM

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg (second left) getting ready to perform the earth breaking for the new sports, community and innovation hub in Batu Kawah, Kuching. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: Sarawak aims to complete its major bridge projects to replace ferry services by 2025, says Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The Chief Minister said the projects included the Batang Lupar bridge, which will replace the Triso ferry service where an accident on New Year's Day claimed nine lives after the vehicle they were in plunged into the river.

"The state government has approved all these bridge projects. Only the earth-breaking ceremony for the Batang Lupar bridge has not been done yet, but the allocation is there and we have tendered the project.

"By 2025, all the bridge projects will be completed and there will be no more ferries," he told reporters after performing an earth-breaking ceremony for a new sports, community and innovation hub here Tuesday (Jan 5).

Abang Johari said construction of the RM848mil Batang Lupar bridge was expected to take four years.

"It will be the longest bridge, over 5km long. The second-longest is the Batang Lassa bridge which is already under construction," he said, adding that all the bridges would be toll-free.

These are among nine bridge projects across major rivers which will connect the state's coastal road network from southern Sarawak to the north.

The other bridges are the Rambungan, Saribas, Krian, Batang Paloh, Batang Igan, Rajang and Kemena bridges.

The state government took over the Batang Lupar, Batang Igan and Rambungan bridge projects after they were cancelled by the Pakatan Harapan administration.

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