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KUCHING, Feb 22: Road users frequently plying the route between Matang and Batu Kawa/Stapok can look forward to the completion of the new bridge located between Emart Matang and Stapok by May this year despite minor delays due to the theft of steel parts of the bridge.
Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the parts that were stolen were the bridge’s steel expansion joints.
Nonetheless, he said according to reports from his ministry officials and contractors, the delay would only be minor, and the bridge, including its link roads on the Stapok and Matang sides would be completed by April after the safety audit.
“There is only a short delay to the bridge project due to vandalism and theft of the bridge’s steel expansion joint parts. Despite so, we (ministry) are satisfied with the work as it is expected to be fully completed and opened to the public by April after the safety audit.
“I urge enforcement authorities to look into this matter and monitor the site to prevent further theft of the steel parts of the bridge. I also advise the public not to vandalise the bridge especially after it is completed because not only could it further delay the project but also endanger road users using the bridge,” Fadillah told reporters during a visit to the bridge site this evening.
The federal government approved the total cost of RM145 million for the 320-metre bridge and its 4.4km link roads.
Meanwhile, the upgrading works to the Mile 10-Mile 15 stretch of the Kuching-Serian road, which is part of the Pan Borneo Highway is still ongoing and is expected to be completed by May this year.
Fadillah said once a safety audit is done and the work fulfills standards and requirements by the ministry, road users returning to their villages for the Gawai holiday would be able to enjoy their drive along the upgraded road.
The cost of the upgrading works to the 9.2km road which was approved by the federal government was RM84.5 million.
As for the Abang Kipali roundabout in Petra Jaya, Fadillah said works have been slightly delayed due to the weather.
He said most of the work there involved excavation and underground works, and was greatly affected by the weather.
“Due to the current weather, as you know, excavation and underground works would be difficult due to water retention. The roundabout should have been completed within February but now (the completion date) has been pushed to May.
“However in this case we (ministry) are happy to note that contractors are able to finish the work within April, and the roundabout will open to the public in May after the safety audit, as long as the contractors meet the requirements and standards we have set,” said Fadillah. — DayakDaily