KUCHING (Jan 2): Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing said the construction of the RM848 million Batang Lupar Bridge has already begun and is expected to be completed in four years.
Approved and funded wholly by the Sarawak government, he said the Batang Lupar Bridge will replace the current Triso ferry service.
“The construction has started already and is now at the Soil Investigation (SI) stage. It will be around 5.2km long – the longest bridge in Malaysia.
“By 2025 or 2026 it should be completed. Then we don’t have to use the ferry anymore,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after visiting the site of the Triso ferry incident which killed nine people including a baby after the pickup truck they were travelling in plunged into Batang Lupar river from the Triso ferry ramp on New Year’s day.
The cause of the incident is still being investigated, although initial investigations revealed that the vehicle might have overshot the ferry ramp and lost control before plunging into the Batang Lupar river.
Masing said the bridge might have been completed sooner if the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) government didn’t cancel it.
“It was cancelled by the (previous) PH government. This (bridge projects) is very important to us. The PH government cancelled it, nevermind, we use our own funds to make sure the bridges are done.
“Whether we like it or not we have to build these bridges. So the ferry will become a piece of our history later on,” he said.
Apart from the Batang Lupar bridge project, the PH government also cancelled the Batang Rambungan bridge project, which has now been approved and funded wholly by the state government for RM98 mil.
“Do not assume that we (state government) do not pursue what we promised. We will, and this where Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is good in.
“He tries his best to get the funds and we got the funds, and we will do it,” said Masing.
Source: Borneo Post