Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing  (fourth left) officiating the soft opening of Kanowit Bridge yesterday.

KANOWIT: The Gawai Dayak festival this year will be celebrated with much joy by the Iban community in Majau, Mam, Poi, Dap and Ngemah in Kanowit District following the completion of the Kanowit Bridge which is part of the 83km-long Kapit-Song-Kanowit-Sibu road project.

The RM50 million Kanowit Bridge, which spans the Kanowit River, will be open to the public on 27 May, 2017.

Speaking at the soft opening of the bridge here yesterday, Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing  said Sungai Kanowit Bridge was a gateway to Upper Rajang.

“This is the first phase of linking Kapit. We would like to thank the people of Kanowit for allowing this to happen. Without your assistance, we would not be able to do this,” he said.

According to Masing, who is also Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation, the next segment is at Ngungun. A bridge will also be built there.

Bridge in Song ready in July

“After that, there will be another – from Ngungun to Temalat. The bridge in Song is being completed. I was told it would be ready in July. In July, the Katibas Bridge will also be completed and then the linkages to Kapit would be ready.

“It is 54 years since independence and in the next four years, Kapit will be connected by road. The people of Kanowit and Kapit would like to thank Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak for allowing this to happen. Because of his kindness and understanding towards the people in Kapit and the surrounding areas, he allows this to happen,”added Masing.

The Minister added that in future, it was possible to drive all the way from Sibu to Kanowit, Song and Kapit and from Kapit all the way up to Empangan Baleh.

Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi, Member of Parliament for Kanowit , Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang, Ngemah State Assemblyman, Alexander Vincent, Machan State Assemblyman, Allan Siden Gramong were among those present.

The RM50 million Kanowit Bridge will be open to the public on 27 May, 2017.