Bridge completion date revised

Batang Rambungan Bridge
An artist’s impression of the Batang Rambungan Bridge.

KUCHING: The revised expected completion date of the iconic Batang Rambungan Bridge project is March 31, 2023.

Assistant Infrastructure and Ports Development Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi said that the project’s progress thus far is at 11 percent (compared to the schedule’s 32.7 percent).

In saying this, he noted that the project still qualifies for time extension considering the ongoing enforcement of the movement control order (MCO).

“This iconic bridge is long awaited by the people in Lundu, Sematan and Kuching districts particularly for those who have to travel back and forth. Despite the challenges posed by the enforcement of MCO, we can see that everything is on track similar to other coastal road and bridge projects.

“The revised expected completion date was based on EOT (extension of time) from the previous MCO. However, the project is eligible to apply for EOT from the current ongoing MCO,” he said this during a visit to the project’s site yesterday (July 25).

The project site for the Batang Rambungan Bridge which is expected to be completed by March 31, 2023. Photo: Ghazali Bujang

During the visit, Julaihi was briefed on the project’s progress and status by Roland Ting Ka Swee who is the Unit Head (Coastal and Second Trunk Road Unit) for Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak.

He pointed out that the construction of coastal roads and bridges in Sarawak are part of the state government’s efforts under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the earth-breaking ceremony for the project took place in December 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic occurred earlier last year has affected the progress.

“Pier One (column works of scaffolding installation and rebar works) have completed while Pier Two (pile cap of backfilling works and column works) is in progress on the Kuching side.

“The most challenging part would be for Pier Three (temporary staging or bridge platform) on Kuching side and Pier Four (temporary stagging or bridge platform) on Lundu side. This is because both Pier Three and Pier Four go across and into the river,” he said.

Upon its completion, long queues at ferry points will be a thing of the past as the people living along the Lundu-Sampadi road no longer have to take a long detour to travel to Kuching as the bridge will provide 24-hour connectivity.

Also present during the visit were permanent secretary for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Port Development Datuk Safri Zainudin and other dignitaries.

Julaihi (centre) and his entourage at the Batang Rambungan Bridge project site. Photo: Ghazali Bujang