Friday, 10 May 2019, Kuching: When the news was announced that the Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak would be built to replace the existing federal trunk road, there was cheer from all quarters for this much awaited highway. Sarawakians long for a good quality road to connect Telok Melano all the way Miri, something which our counterparts in Peninsular Malaysia have been enjoying for many years. With a four-lane dual carriageway design, Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak will definitely give Sarawakians a whole new driving experience.
A smooth drive is dependent upon a good quality road pavement that can withstand high traffic and heavy loads for a long time. So let’s take a look at our road pavements on the Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak, and how we are designing and building a better highway for the future.
- PBHS is the first road project in Sarawak to use the mechanistic approach to pavement design to realistically determine the existing pavement structural support and remaining pavement life by taking into account local conditions.
Backed by data from ground and traffic surveys and vehicle counts of different loading classifications, Pan Borneo Highway’s pavement designs vary from location to location. Different highway sections cater to different volumes and intensity of loads on the pavement. Now that’s being smart and efficient!
- Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak’s Telok Melano to Sematan stretch is the first completed road in Sarawak to use the higher viscosity with lower penetration grade bitumen (Grade 60/70) against the previous Grade 80/100 used.
The use of this new bitumen Grade 60/70 gives better stability and durability to the pavement to withstand higher traffic loads under higher temperatures. It also reduces road damage caused by fatigue failure.
- Pan Borneo Highway’s WPCs have invested in advanced technology batch mix plants for the bituminous pavement premix, as opposed to using the conventional drum mix.
Batch mix plants deliver better quality control of material consistency. Aggregate temperature and particle gradation are controlled. Stone materials are sieved multiple times to comply with design requirements. Even the precise quantum of bitumen distribution in the batch mix is monitored to ensure a better quality and durable product.
Although the initial cost investment for batch mix plants is slightly higher, the end result is a better quality product which provides road users with a better driving experience and significant advantages in maintenance.
So now you know a bit more about the pavements we are building on the Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak towards ensuring a better, smoother and safer ride for our road users.