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‘Works on Saratok-Sarikei stretch show steady progress’

SARIKEI: Works on the 64.486km section of the Pan Borneo Highway project, stretching from Sungai Awik in Saratok, Betong Division to the Bintangor junction in Sarikei Division, should reach completion by Aug 30, 2020 as scheduled.

Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (LBU) project manager Suhaili Salleh is confident that his side would be able to beat the deadline, judging from the progress so far.

“The overall physical progress of the (project’s) 37.3km Bukit Sebangkoi section stretching from Sungai Awik to Sungai Paoh Bridge (in Sarikei) – of which works commenced on Oct 1, 2016 – and the Sarikei section (27.186km) stretching from Sungai Paoh Bridge to Bintangor junction – of which works kicked off on March 1, 2017 –  is at 11.33 per cent.

“This (11.33 per cent progress rate) has breached the initial 3.6-per cent mark by 7.73 per cent,” he told reporters Jalan Bulat junction here yesterday, where a Chinese New Year road safety campaign was kicked off by LBU – the main delivery partner of the Pan Borneo Highway project.

For the record, the Sungai Awik-Bintangor section of the highway project covers the construction of Sarikei and Bintangor interchanges; six bridges – each across Sungai Sebetan and Sungai Sebelak in Saratok, and Sungai Paoh, Sungai Sarikei, Sungai Nyelong and Sungai Joh in Sarikei; 293 culverts; 28 major junctions and 360 minor junctions; 57 bus shelters; five overhead pedestrian bridges; and one layby.

On the campaign, Suhaili said the key objective was to remind motorists to exercise extra care when travelling along the highway, where construction and upgrading works are still in progress.

In this regard, he assured everyone that LBU makes it a top priority to ensure the safety of road users while carrying out the works.

“We hope that the motorists would cooperate by exercising extra care when passing sections where the works are still in progress,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sarikei District deputy police chief DSP Zamry Ali commended LBU for its initiative in running the road safety campaign.

“The tagline ‘Don’t Drive When You’re Tired! Stop and Take a Break!’ could not be more appropriate, when you talk about long-distance driving, especially with the traffic expected to be busy due to the ‘balik kampung’ (return to home village) craze during the Chinese New Year holidays.

“Road safety is a shared responsibility. Drive carefully and courteously to ensure the safety of everyone,” he stressed.

LBU health, safety and environment officer Deshon Kaman Kuso and project manager of the main contractor Michael Tan were also present at the function.

Source: Borneo Post