Thursday, 15 November 2018, Kuching: The project teams at all the 11 works packages are now bracing for the just started north-east monsoon which is expected to lash the state with more rain from now until March next year.
With more rain to be expected, the on-going construction of the Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak will be affected, including at the temporary road diversions built at certain construction stretches as well as at existing stretches of the Federal trunk road.
Needless to say, the weather and heavy traffic will contribute to more uneven road surfaces and potholes, thus making the road journey along the construction stretch even more arduous.
Working round the clock, the project teams have been on vigilant mode to ensure damaged roads, even at temporary diversions, are quickly repaired.
For instance, the project team at WPC07 (Bintangor Junction-Julau Junction and Sibu Airport-Sungai Kua Bridge) was quick to repair the potholes at Sungai Pasai stretch when it received public complaints.
Likewise, road repairs were also carried out by the project team at WPC08 (Sungai Kua Bridge-Sungai Arip Bridge) where this stretch is known to be the most challenging due to the daily commutes of big timber trucks and palm oil tankers.
The incessant rain few days ago had also caused the stretch at KM31 to Sri Aman to be inundated by water and caused the collapse of a culvert at one of the lanes.
The project team which includes the traffic management, upon receiving the distress call, sprang into action late at night and diverted the traffic to temporary road diversion. They worked swiftly, and over 24 hours.
“Constructing the highway on a live road is definitely a big challenge as we have to deal with the traffic at the same time.
“The rainy season now has added on to the already challenging condition as we have to deal with damaged roads due to the rainwater and the heavy vehicles which further aggravate the road condition at these temporary diversions meant to smoothen the traffic while we are constructing the new four-lane highway.
“But we in the project team are doing our best to ensure the roads are maintained until the new highway takes shape,” said WPC08 project manager Baharuddin Samsuddin.
Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (LBU), the Project Delivery Partner for the Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak project, is keeping a close watch on the matter and is in constant contact with its project team and the contractors across all the construction stretches.
While completing the highway on time and within the budget is its main priorities, LBU has also taken upon on itself to ensure that road users are not compromised of their safety and daily commute along the construction stretch.
LBU is doing its best together with the main contractors of all the 11 works packages not only to ensure that this highway is completed with high degree of quality but also that the road maintenance of the 786km of this construction stretch is well taken care of.