New Matang-Stapok bridge now accessible to road users

Fadillah (second right) being briefed by Works Department Sarawak deputy director (infrastructure) Chai Tse Jin (second left) while inspecting the new Matang-Stapok bridge.

KUCHING, April 14: The Matang-Stapok bridge is now officially completed and ready to be used after the issuance of a Certificate of Practical Completion (CPC) by the Works Department to the contractors today.

The RM122 million 320-metre bridge which includes a 4.4km stretch of road between Matang and Stapok will be officially opened in a ceremony tentatively on April 19 by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, said Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof after a final inspection this afternoon.

Speaking to reporters at the site, he said although everything was satisfactory, there were a few minor issues that the contractors had to rectify, especially the uneven surfaces of some sections along the Matang side of the road.

“I would like the Works Department to work out with the contractors to smoothen the uneven sections of the road near EMart Supermarket. Also the loose soil from the roadside, I think, it would take some time for the soil to settle and the grass to grow properly. But I hope the soil would settle properly soon and the grass grows well as the roadside could be used in case of emergencies,” said Fadillah.

Fadillah speaks to reporters after inspecting the new Matang-Stapok bridge, flanked by Fazzrudin (left).

Apart from that, Fadillah also announced that access roads with merge lanes would be built at the end of the bridge for access to the villages in the vicinity, including Kampung Gita-Sungai Maong.

He said after feedback from villagers and grassroots leaders, the Works Department have devised a solution to build access roads into the villages from the bridge with merge lanes.

This, Fadillah said, would cost an additional RM4 million, which he had applied for, from his Ministry.

Another addition for the project would be a redesigned intersection with traffic lights at the Taman Ling Ling section of the road.

He said there had also been some complaints from residents of Taman Ling Ling that the intersection was difficult to use because the road is now wider and vehicles moving along at higher speeds.

“Temporarily we have closed the intersection for safety reasons. The design has been completed by the Works Department and it would be implemented as soon as we obtain the allocation for it,” he said.

Fadillah revealed that the estimated cost to redesign the intersection and install a smart traffic lights system would be RM800,000.

Fadillah personally driving over the new Matang-Stapok bridge and the access road to test it, as Fazzrudin rides as a rear passenger.

On another issue, he noted that some villagers of Kampung Gita-Sungai Maong especially those residing in the new extension village complained that while the roads along the villages have electricity, some homes in the villages has yet to be supplied with electricity.

Fadillah explained that it was not intentional because some parts of the new extension of the village have not been gazetted yet, and the authorities have to follow procedures.

“An application has already been submitted since the late Tupong assemblyman Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman’s time, and is now followed up by the new Tupong assemblyman Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman.

“This process would take some time because procedures have to be followed and complied with properly,” he said.

Fadillah reminded the villagers there that it has always been the opposition’s way to take advantage of the people’s complaints to be used against the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, and that the government had already come up with solutions to the problems way before the opposition brought up the issues.

“That is to be expected now that we are near the election. The grassroot leaders have already reported to us the issues and problems and we have already come up with solutions,” he said. — DayakDaily