Batang Samarahan bridge opens

Julaihi (second from left), Kota Samarahan MP Rubiah Wang (left) and two others sounding air horns to launch the Batang Samarahan bridge.

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SAMARAHAN, June 8: The RM110 million Batang Samarahan bridge connecting Kota Samarahan and Asajaya is now open to the public.

This 774-metre-long bridge will benefit more than 70,000 people from both sides of the river. It will also reduce the time to commute between Asajaya and Kuching city to about 30 minutes.

The people can still use the UiTM-Asajaya road to travel between Kuching and Asajaya or continue to use the ferry crossing across the Batang Samarahan/Sabang River.

Assistant Minister of Coastal Road Datuk Julaihi Narawi, who officiated at the launching ceremony this morning, said the project was completed ahead of schedule.

“It was originally scheduled to be completed on June 22, but today we are here to witness the opening of this bridge for everyone to use. Construction work on the bridge began in January 2015.

“The bridge’s construction cost was estimated at RM93 million, but due to some other related work, it increased to RM110 million,” he said.

Julaihi (in dark blue shirt) takes a view of the surrounding areas from the Batang Samarahan bridge.

Julaihi said the bridge formed part of the state government’s rural development initiative to connect the rural areas to urban centres.

“This new bridge will not only make travelling easier but will also automatically open up new areas for economic development. It will also connect Samarahan to the state’s coastal road, which is being undertaken by the state government.”

He added that the long queues at the Kota Samarahan ferry point, especially during festive seasons, would now be a thing of the past. — DayakDaily