Baru (second left) presenting the SO appointment letter to Sarawak JKR director Datuk Ir Zuraimi Sabki.

KUCHING: Sarawakians will have to wait a little longer before they can fully use the Pan Borneo Highway.

Works Minister Baru Bian said his ministry along with the Sarawak Public Works Department (JKR) were aiming to complete the project by June 2022, as opposed to the original agreed date by Lebuhraya Borneo Utara (LBU), which is June 30, 2021.

He said from the engagement made by Sarawak JKR with LBU ― the project delivery partner (PDP) for the project previously ― the dates would be shifted and he hoped that it would be completed sometime between the second and third quarter of 2022.

“Following an evaluation by Sarawak JKR, the date of completion will vary between May and August 2022.

“If we can finish it earlier, then it’s okay. If not, we will try to expedite (it),” he told reporters at the Sarawak JKR office here yesterday.

Baru (second left) presenting the SO appointment letter to Sarawak JKR director Datuk Ir Zuraimi Sabki.

Earlier, Baru formalised the handover of the Pan Borneo Highway project to Sarawak JKR, with it being appointed by the Works Ministry as the superintending officer (SO) and superintending officer representative (SOR).

He said through the conventional method, Malaysia JKR would act as an independent consulting engineer (ICE) in advising the Works Ministry and Sarawak JKR on technical specifications and regular audits.

On the progress of the highway, Baru said the reported progress by LBU was at 44.21 percent compared to 47.82 percent which was scheduled for the expected project completion date of August 2021.

“However, based on the evaluation made by JKR and our independent engineering consultant, in a review on Jan 2020, the progress is actually at 45.81 percent compared to 61.23 for the completion date of Dec 2021 (the revised date).

“But in our engagement with the work package contractors (WPC), the project will be completed latest by August 2022, so there is a delay there, but we will do our best to complete it by June 2022,” Baru said.