Sarawak Pan Borneo Serian Section nears completion, Balai Ringin to Pantu Junction roads to finish in 2022

Fadillah speaking at the launching ceremony of Sarawak Pan Borneo Highway Serian Section (Serian roundabout to Balai Ringin).

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Dec 5: The 75.015-kilometre Sarawak Pan Borneo Serian Section from Serian Roundabout to Pantu Junction is nearing full completion with the launching of its smaller section from Serian Roundabout to Balai Ringin today.

The 33.05-kilometre Serian Roundabout-Balai Ringin road section is part of Works Package 03, also known as the Sarawak Pan Borneo Serian Section.

Senior Works Minister Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof said the remaining section from Balai Ringin to Pantu Junction is at 95 per cent completion and targeted to finish next year.

“Whereas the entire Pan Borneo has reached 75 per cent completion. By year-end next year, hopefully, we can finish the first phase. That is our expectation.

“We, in the Works Ministry, together with Sarawak JKR (Public Works Department) and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Port Development, will continue to find ways to complete the Pan Borneo (Phase 1) in time,” he said during the launching of Serian Roundabout-Balai Ringin Pan Borneo section in Serian today.

Looking back in time, Fadillah said the idea of Sarawak Pan Borneo Highway from Telok Melano to Miri was in Barisan Nasional (BN)’s manifesto during former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s administration.

In the beginning, he said, the project was proposed to be funded through the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and some fundings from the federal government, but the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem later turned this down.

“He (Adenan) requested that it not be implemented using PFI because he did not want to have toll systems along the road.

“In the end, it was decided that Pan Borneo would be implemented under development allocations and partially funded using infrastructure funds.

“And because of that, the construction started without any investment from the private sectors,” said Fadillah.

Sarawak Pan Borneo Highway consisted of two phases. Phase 1 is the current construction from Telok Melano to Miri, while Phase 2 is from Miri to the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Baram until Limbang and Lawas.

When Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over BN as government, however, fundings for Phase 2 was cancelled, Fadillah pointed out.

“So, for Phase 2, we still need to find new fundings for the project to continue. We in the Works Ministry will continue to strive so that the federal government can approve allocations,” he stressed.

Sarawak Pan Borneo Highway, first launched in March 2015, stretches from Telok Melano at Sarawak’s most-western tip to Miri in northern Sarawak.

The mega project, implemented at 11 Works Packages comprising 25 sections, involves developing and upgrading the current two-lane single carriageway of JKR R3 geometric design standard to a four-lane dual carriageway of JKR R5 geometric design standard.

To-date, the Sarawak Pan Borneo Highway has been fully opened between Telok Melano to Sematan (33km) and Nyabau to Bakun (43km) which is part of the 786-kilometre Phase 1 road project. — DayakDaily