Independent consultant engaged to look into Satok Suspension Bridge faulty pillar

Masing is seen talking to officers from his ministry at the Satok Suspension Bridge. At the background are the pillars which are tilted to one side.

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Sept 6: A third party consultant has been appointed to look into ways to rectify the tilted and faulty pillar of the RM8.05 million Satok Suspension Bridge.

Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development Tan Sri Dr James Masing said the ministry was also looking to ensure that the pillar would not collapse.

“We are taking a two pronged approach to address the tilted pillar. Firstly, we will make sure that it will not collapse and secondly, we have appointed a third-party consultant to rectify the problem,” Masing told DayakDaily here today.

He reiterated that the state Public Works Department will not handle the issue, stating that “It must not be the judge and jury at the same time”.

Masing was commenting on the latest development affecting the bridge, which was found to be faulty recently.

The Satok Suspension Bridge, commonly known as the Satok Yellow Bridge or ‘San Francisco Bridge’, was once a popular spot for courting couples and was the only way to reach Matang from Kuching.

Elderly Kuchingites who grew up with the bridge would have fond memories of it. The bridge was constructed in 1923 and completed in 1926 by architect AS Lowe to hold 0.3m water pipes connecting the reservoir in Matang with Kuching town.

It was 130 metres long, 2.3 metres wide and was suspended 18 metres above the river.

The bridge eventually gave in to wear and tear and was closed in 1992 due to safety reasons. It eventually collapsed in October 2004, after serving Kuching residents for 78 years.

The reconstructed Satok Bridge will be 213 metres long and 3 metres wide.

On a related issue, Masing, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, assured the people that Sarawak has the ability to build the nine new bridges along the coastal highway.

“We will get the contractors with proven track record to implement these projects based on open tender system,” he said.

The major bridges consisted of 560m Batang Rambungan Bridge, Batang Lupar (5.1km), Batang Saribas (1.550km), Sg Krian (690m), Muara Lassa (2.43km), Batang Rajang (1.208km), Batang Paloh (1.7km), Batang Igan (1.8km) and Bintulu-Jepak (1.212km). — DayakDaily