Tuesday, 5 June 2018, Sibu: While earthworks and road works are progressing at all Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak stretches, it is also interesting to see bridge works taking place.
The Project has no less than 115 pairs of bridges included in Phase 1 from Telok Melano to Miri.
The longest bridge to be constructed is a twin bridge across Batang Rajang, more popularly known as the Durin Bridge.
Pursuant to site possession for the Durin Bridge which was given in mid-2016, construction works at the 1.708km long Durin Bridge is today about one-third completed and progressing well.
Drive along the bridge today and one can see that both the abutments and 16 numbers of piers are now completed to varying degrees of completion.
An abutment is a structure built to support the lateral pressure of earth embankment at both ends of the bridge.
A pier meanwhile is an upright support for a structure or superstructure to raise the bridge deck to required levels above the original existing grade, serving to create head room for traffic underneath or navigational flow.
However, the hallmark of the Durin Bridge is its intricate construction technique adopted to cater to the free navigational flow underneath.
A navigational clearance as wide as 150m underneath is mandated by the Sarawak Rivers Board, making it extremely challenging to create this large span width over Durin River.
To overcome this challenge, the balanced cantilever bridge construction method is being used for the Durin Bridge.
Such construction method is typically recognised by the segments of construction springing out both ways from the pier top (called hammer heads), one after the other incrementally, till they meet in the middle to be joined into the span.
The challenge and difficulty lie in the technique of balancing and precision to meet in the middle.
All available work fronts are currently under active construction in spite of the current spell of wet weather at the bridge site.
When completed, the Durin Bridge will rise up to about 22m from the ground. It will mirror the existing bridge with three navigation channels, one of them 150m width, and a height clearance of 20m.
Construction works for the bridge, under Bintangor Junction-Julau Junction and Sibu Airport to Sungai Kua Bridge (WPC07), is being undertaken by Hock Seng Lee Berhad-Dhaya Maju Infrastructure (Asia) Sdn Bhd JV with a four-year construction period.
All necessary quality procedures, safety and health plan, traffic management plan and environmental management plan are strictly being adhered to by the Contractor during the construction period to ensure that the construction works of the bridge can be completed on time.