Monday, August 19, 2013

Rosnah gives an update on the Pan-Borneo Highway upgrading work

Posted by Smookiekins On 8/19/2013 08:48:00 AM
Deputy Minister of Works Datuk Rosnah Shirlin today gave an update on the progress of the upgrading works done on the 2, 239 kilometre-long Pan-Borneo Highway.

The Pan-Borneo Highway was built in 1986 to link the two East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. It begins in the district of Sematan in Sarawak, and passes through Kuching, Serian, Sri Aman, Sarikei, Sibu, Bintulu, Miri, Limbang, Lawas, Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tawau. As of today, the Pan-Borneo Highway is 93 percent completed, with a remainder of a 50-kilometre missing link from Kalabakan to Serudong.

Through the Highway Network Development Plan Phase 2, the Ministry of Works plans to upgrade the whole stretch of the Pan-Borneo Highway to dual carriageway in stages at an estimated cost of RM22 billion. Upgrading works began in 2011 and is estimated to be completed by 2025.

Speaking at a press conference, Rosnah disclosed that the Pan-Borneo road is fully tarred, with a total of 284. 65 kilometres already upgraded to dual carriageway.

1, 166 kilometres of the Pan-Borneo Highway is located in Sabah. Approximately 9.5 billion of the RM22-billion allocation will be spent to upgrade the highway in the state.

Currently, two main upgrading projects are underway in Sabah – the Petagas-Putatan-Lok Kawi Phase 1A and 1B road and the Donggongon-Papar Phase 1 road – costing over RM369 million. The Ministry expects that the upgrading works on these roads will completed in a little over two years’ time.

Other projects currently done on the Pan-Borneo Highway in Sabah include addressing the black spot problems in certain areas, repairing roads and slopes, and the upgrading of roads in areas that are prone to flooding. There are 86 projects of this nature in the state, incurring a cost of RM277 million. Of this number, 70 projects have already been completed.

The Ministry faces many challenges in completing the Pan-Borneo upgrade, including the problem of heavy vehicles carrying loads that exceed the 38-tonnes load limit, which frequent the Pan-Borneo highway. This causes the roads to become damaged prematurely, thus incurring high maintenance costs.

Rosnah explained that this is a concern of her Ministry. To tackle the issue, the Ministry is in talks with other authorities including the Road Transport Department to find a lasting solution to the problem. The feedback has so far been positive, she said.

“The government is committed to complete and upgrade the Pan-Borneo Highway to increase access to areas of economic growth as well as to cater to the well being of the people,” she said.

Source: Insight Sabah


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