By Nigel Edgar
BAKO, Feb 24: The state government has more infrastructure development plans in the pipeline to open up Bako and surrounding areas by connecting it to several places, including Buntal.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the idea was to spur economic growth for the betterment of the people in the long run.
“Not only this new Bako bridge, but we will also be constructing a 2km two-lane concrete village road at Kampung Bako.
“Aside from that, we also have a plan to connect Bako to Buntal in Santubong. We will build another bridge for that. (The late Chief Minister Pehin Sri) Adenan Satem already built us this new Bako Bridge, I will do the Buntal bridge.
“We will build the Buntal bridge so that Bako will be connected to Buntal through a 8.5km road along the coastline,” he revealed when opening the state-funded 280m-long Bako bridge here today.
This RM41.3 million initiative included a 3.5km dual-lane single carriageway road connecting Kampung Bako to the existing Jalan Kampung Bako and other associated works such as drainage, road furnishings and utilities.
The construction of the bridge started on March 3, 2016, and was certified for practical completion on Jan 31 this year. It was implemented by JKR Sarawak with Perunding Anggun Tega Sdn Bhd the consultant and Metrobite Engineering Sdn Bhd the contractor.
On connecting Bako to Buntal, Abang Johari pointed out that the Santubong road would connect Bako all the way to Telok Melano through Bau once the Rambungan bridge is completed; thus, connecting Bako to the Coastal Highway and the Pan Borneo Highway.
“Some people question the need to build the coastal road. They claimed it’s a waste of money. Actually, once we build roads through these rural areas, they will open up the land and the communities there and spur economic growth. This, in turn, will greatly benefit the rakyat in the long run.”
Abang Johari also revealed that his administration was also thinking of connecting Bako to Kota Samarahan by road.
“I don’t want to announce it now. It is still in planning.”
He reiterated that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government would continue to develop infrastructure, especially in the rural areas, to accelerate the state’s economic growth.
Among those present were Minister of Housing and Local Government Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, Assistant Minister of Coastal Road Datuk Julaihi Narawi, Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan, Assistant Minister of Transportation Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, Santubong MP Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and Demak assemblyman Dr Hazland Abang Hipni. — DayakDaily