Mile 6, 7 flyovers opening further delayed due to bitumen shortage

A photo showing the closed lanes at one of the flyovers (supplied).

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KUCHING, July 7: The opening of both the fast and slow lanes for Mile 6 and 7 flyovers will be further delayed due to shortage of bitumen supply in Kuching since early June.

The Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak explained that the supplier in Kuching has reported a delay in their shipment of bitumen supply from Singapore.

“To further complicate the situation, one of the Independent Oil Terminals (IOT) in Sejingkat, Kuching faced a breakdown last month.

“The available bitumen stocks/supply at that time were very limited due to demands from other package contractors as well. While waiting for the bitumen supply in Kuching to be replenished, the contractor is trying to get the bitumen supply from Bintulu,” JKR Sarawak said in a statement today.

An aerial view of the Mile 7 flyover, which was scheduled for completion by July. Photo credit: Ukas

However, JKR Sarawak emphasised that the contractor is committed to completing and opening the two fast lanes on both ways for the Mile 7 flyover by July 17 and to open up the entire flyover for the public by July 25.

Despite the bitumen shortage problem, it added that the contractor is also targeting to open two fast lanes on both ways for Mile 6 flyover on July 15, while the remaining lanes will be opened by the first week of August.

This statement was issued following criticisms from Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak member Michael Kong who noticed that none of the lanes at the Mile 6 flyover are open for use as promised.

He noted that as recently as May 23, Senior Works Minister Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof stated that one lane of the Mile 7 flyover will be open before June and one lane of the Mile 6 flyover will be open before July.

However, one lane of the dual carriageway Mile 7 flyover was opened to the public on May 31, while Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas informed that the Mile 7 flyover is attempting to meet the deadline of full opening by the end of July during his visit.

As for the Mile 6 flyover, Uggah mentioned that it was aiming to have at least one lane open by the end of June. But with today’s clarification from JKR Sarawak, it appears that road users will need to be a bit more patient as delays are inevitable. — DayakDaily