Monday, 25 March 2019, Kuching: Works Ministry Malaysia senior officials led by its Secretary-General Dato’ Dr Syed Omar Sharifuddin took their weekend off last week to look for themselves the progress of the Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak project.
The delegation made their first stop at Batang Rajang Bridge, more popularly known as Durin Bridge, on Friday afternoon where they were briefed by Batang Rajang Section construction manager Wesley Chong. The section is under Bintangor Junction-Julau Junction and Sibu Airport-Sungai Kua Bridge (Works Package 07).
Progressing smoothly, this longest bridge in the whole of the Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak project will be see its first closing segment or “stitching process” in a few weeks’ time. Five of the 17 spans of this box girder bridge need to undergo the process to close the segment in between two adjoining piers. Half of the bridge from mid-point towards Durin is now substantially completed while the other half of the bridge from mid-point towards Sibu is progressing smoothly.
Also in the delegation were senior management of Lebuhraya Borneo Utara (LBU) led by Managing Director Mohd Zaidee Hipni, Chief Executive Officer Ir. Safuani Abdul Hamid and Head of Construction Management Ir. Ng Chin Meng.
On Saturday, the delegation visited the Sibu Airport Interchange where currently construction works is focused on launching its 84 beams. Once this is done, the contractor can start work on the roundabout which is expected to be completed by November this year. With the roundabout is ready, access from Sibu to Sibu Airport will be opened to the public, alleviating the current inconvenience of having to drive through a long road diversion.
On Sunday, the Works Ministry delegation took to the road from Sibu to Bintulu. They visited the Sungai Kua Bridge-Sungai Arip Bridge stretch (Works Package 08) where they could see for themselves the completed first 7km of new carriageway from the starting chainage till Sg. Duat Bridge. A subsequent 4km before Selangau town is also expected to be opened by May this year.
While at Sungai Arip Bridge-Bintulu Airport Junction (Works Package 09), the delegation stopped to be briefed on works progress at the new parallel 486m two-lane bridge right next to the existing Tatau Bridge. Construction works on this 8-span bridge is now focused on the balanced cantilever box girder and I-Beam post-tensioned girder span, as well as deck slabs for piers and abutment. The longest span of the Tatau bridge is 150m in length.
Whilst in Bintulu, the Works Ministry officials also visited the Mile 5 Nyabau Interchange, which at 1.5km is the longest elevated interchange in Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak.