Monday, 8 July 2019, Kuching: Construction of the 250m long Mile 4 ½ Interchange along Kuching – Serian Road (KSR) is expected to be completed by October 2020. According to Project Manager for Works Package 02 (Sematan-Sungai Moyan), Ir Dahlim Mungkil, works are now concentrated on the pile caps and crossheads following the completion of piling works early this year.
“After this part is done, we will move on to launch the beams for this 7-span flyover before we do the deck slab and eventually parapet wall to complete the whole flyover. At the same time, we have to remove unsuitable materials of about 3 – 4m deep, and carry out ‘remove and replace’ (R&R) works at the approach abutment area. This is a construction challenge we face at this flyover, and will delay our works slightly”, said Ir Dahlim.
He said construction progress of this interchange which started last year had been affected by a shortage of skilled manpower. Another challenge is the utilities’ relocation works, which is not fully completed until today.
“We managed to resolve the issue of manpower. However, the utilities’ relocation work remains a challenge as there are many underlying cables and pipes in this urban area which are not easily identified. This has hampered progress to an extent. But we are confident this issue can be resolved, as we have now identified all the cables and pipes. Relocation works are still on-going and are expected to be completed by September 2019”, he said.
Construction of the Mile 4 ½ Kuching – Serian Road Interchange and 3 other interchanges along the same road stretch at Mile 6, 7 and 10 of Kuching has certainly attracted its fair share of interest from the public who are eager for a smoother road journey.
Traffic at peak hours along this traditionally high traffic road stretch between Kuching and Serian has been affected by the on-going construction of the 4 Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak interchanges. While the project team has managed to keep the number of lanes open to live traffic by widening the road, however at certain locations, the lane width may be reduced due to land constraint.
Recently a concerned road-user vented his frustration at the rampant parking by parents picking up school children at SJK (C) Chung Hua, Mile 4 ½. Despite the availability of a temporary car parking facility being provided by the contractor at Jalan Kung Ping, many cars continue to be parked at the main road side, thus adding to the traffic congestion at peak hours.
Construction in urban areas is challenging due to existing and often old infrastructure and utilities in place. Add that to the requirement to keep the road open to traffic, whilst construction is on-going.
All the same, our contractors on the 4 KSR interchanges are working hard to make progress and complete works in good time to reduce the inconvenience to road-users. We can say with confidence that everyone looks forward to the day when road-users from Kuching to Serian and vice versa can drive smoothly on the 4 interchanges, in place of stalling at the current traffic light junctions at these locations.