KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg believes that the construction of all bridges along the coastal road will be completed by 2025, eliminating the need for ferry services to cross rivers along the stretch.
He said the state government aimed to have full road connectivity along the coastal road through the construction of the bridges, amounting to an estimated RM5 billion in total.
“Actually, this was started by the late Tok Nan (the late former Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem), so I continued it.
“Our stance is that when we construct these bridges, they must be toll-free,” he said at the earth-breaking ceremony of the ‘Sports/Community Hall with Innovative Hub’ People’s Project at the former site of Ang Cheng Ho Quarry, Jalan Datuk Stephen Yong here on Tuesday (Jan 5).
He said all the bridges along the coastal road had been approved and allocated funds, with just the Batang Lupar Bridge earth-breaking ceremony left.
“But the allocation is already there and we have launched the tender to develop the Batang Lupar Bridge. It may take about four years (to complete),” he said, pointing out that this bridge was funded by the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government.
Abang Johari said that although the construction of these bridges was costly, the state government had managed to generate funds for this development such as through revenue from the state sales tax (SST) on petroleum products.
“So, I believe that in the coming ten years towards 2030, we are on the right track and our economic fundamentals are very strong.
“I have the people of Sarawak behind me, and that is why I fight (to safeguard Sarawak’s rights),” he said.