Sarawak coastal road to be completed within 10 years

Masing (second left) presents a memento of appreciation to Abang Johari after the launching of Sarawak Coastal Road Development Seminar 2018.

KUCHING, March 8: The state government is committed to ensure that the 900km coastal road from Sematan all the way to Miri would be completed within 10 years, no matter the cost.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this would include building 11 bridges and some missing links in between, which would incur heavy spending.

“However, we will do it at all cost for the benefit for the rural folks and those living in the coastal areas.

“Don’t worry. I know where to get the money (from). We have our own bank (Development Bank of Sarawak) and I have a new business model which can help Sarawak to get more money,” he said, without divulging any details.

He said this during a press conference after officiating at Coastal Road Development Seminar 2018 at a hotel here today.

Abang Johari (centre) initiates the gimmick to launch Sarawak Coastal Road Development Seminar 2018 accompanied by Masing (fourth left) and other state dignitaries.

Meanwhile, Infrastructure Development and Transportation Minister Tan Sri James Jemut Masing said the cost of the 900km coastal road was estimated to be about RM11 billion and to be completed within 10 years, while the 11 bridges along the road was expected to be completed by 2023.

“The cost to build the 11 bridges would be about RM5 billion, and about RM3.2 billion for the coastal road. Also another RM3.2 billion for another trunk road. This would need a lot of money,” he said.

The 11 bridges are to cross Batang Sadong, Batang Samarahan, Batang Rambungan, Batang Lupar (the longest bridge), Batang Igan, Batang Rajang, Batang Saribas, Sungai Krian, Batang Paloh, Muara Lassa and Kuala Kemena.

Masing, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said once all the bridges are completed, road users would be able to have a seamless drive along the coastal road without having to wait in line anymore for a ferry to cross the big rivers.

The Batang Sadong bridge which has been completed at a cost of about RM231 million was half funded by the federal government while the other half was paid for by the state, he added. — DayakDaily