KUCHING: The Batang Lupar bridge will be a key component in Sarawak’s coastal road network upon its completion in four years’ time, says Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
The Chief Minister said the bridge was a vital link to connect the state’s coastal areas.
“Once the bridge is completed, we will be able to open up new areas for development and agriculture, ” he said at the earth-breaking ceremony for the project in Sebuyau, about 109km from here, yesterday.
Abang Johari said the RM848mil bridge was fully funded by the state government after the project was cancelled by the previous Pakatan Harapan federal administration.
He said the state was also constructing other bridges along the 896km-long coastal route to replace ferry services and provide a seamless road network.
“All the bridges are borne by the state government, except the Batang Samarahan and Batong Sadong bridges which were borne by the previous Barisan Nasional Federal Government, ” he said, adding that there would be no toll charges on the bridges.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Masing said the Batang Lupar bridge was one of 11 major bridges to be constructed along the coastal road, which would serve 65% of the state’s population.
“These bridges are built with a construction cost of not more than RM4bil. Building these bridges is half the job done.
“The next task is to build the roads to connect these bridges. The total cost to construct these 11 huge bridges and roads is no less than RM11bil, ” he added.
The other bridges are the Batang Rambungan bridge, Sejingkat bridge, Sungai Krian bridge, a second Batang Lupar bridge in Sri Aman, Batang Rajang bridge, Batang Paloh bridge, Muara Lassa bridge, Batang Igan bridge, Bintulu-Jepak bridge and Batang Saribas bridge.
The Batang Lupar bridge 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.
At 4.8km long, it will be the longest river-crossing bridge in Malaysia, comprising a two-lane single carriageway with a 600m-long cable-stayed main span, 1.2km approach span from Sebuyau and 3km approach span to Triso.
The project is scheduled to be completed on Jan 6,2025.