KUCHING: The first of the three components of the Sarawak Coastal Road project involves the construction of bridges across seven rivers to replace the ferry services, the Sarawak state legislative assembly was told yesterday.

Infrastructure and Ports Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing said these bridges will be built across Batang Rambungan, Batang Lupar, Batang Saribas, Sungai Krian, Batang Paloh, Muara Lassa and Batang Igan.

The second component is to provide the ‘missing link’ along Jalan Pasi, Sarikei/Tanjung Manis, Mukah, and involves the Batang Rajang Bridge, construction of the Kuala Kemena/Jepak Bridge and a proposed second alignment for Jalan Kuching/Samarahan which includes the construction of a bridge across Sungai Sarawak at Demak Laut.

“The third component involves the upgrading of the existing coastal road under two packages, A & B, with 23 sub-packages, 13 and 10 respectively,” he said in reply to a question from Yussibnosh Balo (GPS-Tellian) who had wanted to know the progress of the construction of the coastal road.

Masing, who is also the deputy chief minister, revealed that four of the seven packages of the first component have been offered to contractors, namely the Batang Saribas Bridge (estimated cost of RM496 million); Sungai Krian Bridge (RM174 million); Batang Paloh Bridge (RM567 million) and Muara Lassa Bridge (RM665 million).

“The letter for the second component — Jalan Pasi, Sarikei/Tanjung Manis, Mukah, and the Batang Rajang Bridge — was issued on Feb 22 for a contract valued at RM321,377,700.

“The letter for the construction of the Kuala Kemena/Jepak Bridge was issued on March 6 for a contract valued at RM466,679,497 while the second road from Samarahan to Kuching via Jalan Tanjung Bako and the construction of Bako/Buntal Link Road, including the construction of a bridge across Sungai Buntal, is in the early design phase,” he added.

Masing said that for the third component, the sub-package involving the 9.6-km alignment between Kampung Sungai Bulug/Sebuyau has been offered while the tender documents were being processed for the remaining 12 sub-packages.

“Another sub-package, involving the 12.3km Tanjung Kidurong/Kuala Suai/Kuala Niah/Kuala Sibuti/Bakam Road, has also been offered while the remaining nine sub-packages are at the stage of site study and design,” he added. – Bernama