By DayakDaily Team
SIBU, June 30: The construction of the Second Trunk Road (STR) will start this year and will take 48 months to complete, reveals Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development Tan Sri James Jemut Masing.
The 225km-long road starts from Kota Samarahan and will pass through major towns such as Simunjan and Sebuyau. From Sebuyau it will branch into two paths: one leading to Roban where it will link to the Pan Borneo Highway while the other one leads to Lingga, Sri Aman and Betong before it links to the Pan Borneo Highway.
STR will connect with the coastal road at major bridges crossing Batang Sadong, Batang Lupar and Batang Saribas to cut costs.
Only one new bridge will be constructed at Simanggang (Sri Aman town).
STR will also provide a shortcut from Bintangor to Sibu via a new road stretch.
“The construction of the STR is inevitable as it will provide better connectivity for the people of Sarawak. With the completion of the STR by 2025, the expected time to travel from Kuching to Sibu will be only two-and-a-half hours. This will be a game changer for the people of Sarawak,” Masing told DayakDaily when contacted today.
He said Sarawak has to embark on the project as it could not afford to be left behind any longer in terms of infrastructure development.
“We have to start now, otherwise if we have to wait, then it will cost us much more in future. And why not now…since we have the money to implement it,” he stressed.
Masing, who is also Deputy Chief Minster reiterated that the construction of the road will also provide the opportunity for local people and the government to open up more land which presently are not accessible.
Meanwhile, Masing said due to the Movement Control Order (MCO), the ferry services provided at Batang Saribas will be upgraded with increased capacity if the need arises.
He said the during the MCO, the ferry could only accommodate 24 vehicles per crossing.
“We will put bigger ferries there once the volume of traffic picks up again,” he gave assurance.
Today, the queues along both sides of Batang Saribas was estimated to be at least one km-long. — DayakDaily