Tuesday, 19 November 2019, Serian: A total of 73.5km of first carriageway along Serian to Pantu Junction, paved up to binder course level, is expected to be opened to traffic by end of next month.
LBU project manager for the stretch (Works Package 03) Azrin Ahmad said out of this, 44km would be in Serian section while the remaining 29.5km in Pantu Section.
“The opening of this first carriageway, albeit up to binder course level, is definitely good news to motorists plying along the stretch as it will give them a first-hand experience of how it is to drive along the Pan Borneo Highway once it is fully completed in another two years’ time.
“We will proceed to construct the second carriageway and I expect this not be so tedious as we have diverted the traffic to the first carriageway,” he said.
On the Serian Interchange I and II, Azrin said work is now focused on the parapet wall and would soon move to premix laying.
“We expect both interchanges to be opened to traffic before the Chinese New Year by the end of January next year.
“The completion of these interchanges will help alleviate the traffic congestion, especially in Serian town,” he added.
The Simunjan Interchange meanwhile has seen work progressing where it will soon start to do the parapet wall with the completion of its reinforced earth wall.
On the new Batang Sadong Bridge, it has already opened to traffic.
“As for the old bridge itself, the authority has yet to decide whether it should be rehabilitated or not to make way for a new bridge although it had passed the load test,” Azrin said.
To recap, the old Batang Sadong Bridge was retained for Serian-bound traffic after it passed the proof load test conducted in July last year. The results of the test meant that the 186m long bridge, built in 1992, is sufficiently fit to cater to the full JKR standard design load limits allowed under the current Weight Restriction Order (WRO) 2003.
The load test conducted on the bridge confirmed to the State Public Works Department (JKRS) that the bridge does not need to be demolished as it can sustain the expected traffic load.
Construction work on Works Package 03, undertaken by Zecon Kimlun Consortium Sdn Bhd, involves upgrading the existing 75km of Federal trunk road (stretching from Serian Roundabout to Pantu Junction) into an R5 standard 4-lane dual carriageway. For ease of construction it is divided into Serian Section and Pantu Section.