Sematan-Merapok trunk road upgrading to cost RM16 billion, Manyin

KUCHING, June 27 (Bernama) — The upgrading of the state trunk road to a two-lane dual carriageway stretching for 1,080 km from Sematan, near here to Merapok, in Lawas is estimated to cost RM16 billion at the current rate.

Sarawak Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin said today, in view of the high cost of approximately RM13 million per km, the upgrading exercise would be carried out in phases.

“In the meantime, proposals have been made under the 10th Malaysia Plan’s second rolling plan (2012-2013) to provide some stretches of the roads from Sibu to Miri with overtaking lanes,” he said in his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly sitting at Petra Jaya, here.

He said the proposed project was to reduce road accidents and to allow drivers, who were being held up by slow heavy vehicles, to overtake.

On the issue raised by Ling Sie Kong (DAP-Piasau) for the construction of a road by-passing the Brunei territories linking Miri/Long Lama/Limbang/Lawas/Merapok and to Sindumin in Sabah, he said, a study had been carried out on the proposal.

Manyin said the implementation of the proposed Sarawak-Sabah link road, which was about 275 km with an estimated cost of RM3.5 billion, would depend on the approval from the federal government and availability of funds.

However, the federal government had agreed to construct a 52 km-long road linking Miri to Marudi, which would be undertaken on a fast track basis by the Defence Ministry under the Jiwa Murni programme, he said.

He said the development of road infrastructure facilities would continue to focus on establishing an efficient and effective road network to facilitate the state’s economic transformation and integrate the rural population into the mainstream of development.

On the possibility of constructing a railway system in the state, he said, the state government was undertaking a study on railway development master plan for the central region.

He said the study was in its draft final stage and scheduled to complete in August next year. — BERNAMA

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