KUCHING: The first 10 km of the new carriageway in Selangau near Sibu will be opened to motorists soon.
Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (LBU) in its website (www.panborneo.com.my) said motorists travelling to Selangau from Sibu will have much to cheer about by end of March when the first seven km of the new carriageway from the starting chainage till Sg Duat bridge is opened for public use.
A subsequent four km before Selangau will also be opened two months later in May this year. Both stretches are under Sungai Kua bridge-Sungai Arip works package (Works Package 08) of the Pan Borneo Highway project.
What this means is that motorists will have a smooth drive along this new two-lane carriageway of R5 standard compared to the current passable existing mainline and temporary diversion which has been affected by scattered potholes, said a statement in the website.
The project manager for Works Package 08, Baharuddin Samsuddin, was also quoted as saying the contractor has been putting much effort over the past months to quickly open this first 10 km of the new carriageway.
We will be glad to be able to shift motorists to the new carriageway soon, freeing them from the uneven road stretches. Today, we have already shifted motorists to about 1.1 km of the new carriageway. We will be opening more road lengths in stages, added Baharuddin.
Currently, this stretch is passable only through a series of temporary diversions which has severe pothole problems, causing much inconvenience to motorists.
Baharuddin explained that temporary diversions had to be built to enable the contractor to replace all existing culverts underneath the road with the new ones, in addition to backfilling to the new subgrade level before the new carriageway could be constructed.
With the completion of this first 10 km which is considered the hardest stretch compared to the other stretches due to high backfilling on culverts between 5-10m high, now the contractor can move on and do the remaining stretches and beyond.
We do not anticipate subsequent stretches under our works package to have severe pothole problems like those affecting the first 10km stretch before Selangau.
We urge motorists to bear with us and follow the speed limits and relevant information signs while the contractor is doing its utmost best to open the remaining first carriageway before it moves on to construct the second carriageway, said Baharuddin.
LBU is the project delivery partner for Pan Borneo Highway. There are altogether 11 works packages for the ongoing project.
Source: Sarawak Government