Sarawak govt prioritises completion of approved bridge projects

Julaihi (second left) and Abdul Karim on his right crossing by boat the 0.5-km and crocodile infested Samarahan River to visit the other side of the ramp project.

By Jacob Achoi

KOTA SAMARAHAN, Oct 19: The state government will prioritise the completion of the bridge projects that have been approved, says Assistant Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development Datuk Julaihi Narawi.

He said there were already a few state funded bridges that have been approved by the Cabinet to be completed.

Among the bridges are the project crossing Sarawak River near Sejingkat as part of the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway and the Kpg Kuap bridge project.

“What is important now is for us to complete the approved bridge projects and, for now, areas which are not connected by bridges, we use ferry services as a temporary and alternative means of connectivity,” Julaihi told reporters today.

He has earlier visited the site for Tambirat-Beliong ferry service, together with Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, which was approved by the Cabinet early last year.

Julaihi cited the existing Sadong Jaya, Samarahan and Simunjan bridges, which previously used ferry services before being replaced with the construction of the bridges.

He also said that there are 12 ferry service bases in the state, of which seven bases are available along coastal areas.

According to him, the government subsidised RM78 million annually for the services, where RM66 million is spent to subsidise those serving in coastal areas alone.

Meanwhile, Abdul Karim said the bridge to replace the Tambirat-Beliong ferry service will definitely come in the future.

“As what, Datuk (Julaihi) said, we have to complete the bridge projects that have been approved by the state government.

“And for this (Tambirat-Beliong) Bridge, it will come, perhaps in five years’ time,” he added. —DayakDaily