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Utilities blocking smooth progress of highway project – Assistant minister
Posted on : 11 Apr 2017  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Utilities blocking smooth progress of highway project – Assistant minister

April 11, 2017, Tuesday

(From left) Lee, Furn and Anup at the press conference in JKR Miri office.

MIRI: Utilities along the stretch from Pujut Link to Miri airport need to be shifted so that the Pan Borneo Highway project can proceed without delay.

Assistant Minister for Land and Air Transportation and Safety Datuk Lee Kim Shin said this after a briefing on the Pan Borneo Highway project for the section from Sungai Tangkap to Pujut Link at the Public Works Department (JKR) office here yesterday.

“We have Sarawak Energy (SEB) power lines, Laku main pipes, Sarawak Gas near the airport junction; Telekom and Sacofa are all involved along this stretch of construction.

“It’s very critical for these agencies to work together with the contractor because there is no point having the construction ahead of schedule and suddenly because of the utilities not shifted, the whole construction is slowed down,” he said.

Lee pointed out that while acknowledging the utilities as the main issue affecting the progress of the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway besides disrupting traffic flow, he hoped that the road construction would be completed ahead of schedule.

“My concern is the road from the National Youth Skills Institute (IKBN) to the airport traffic light junction because that stretch is most challenging in terms of construction; it is hoped that it could be completed ahead of schedule because it would face serious daily traffic congestion, especially with the construction going on.”

Lee said the shifting must take place as soon as possible and he would like the contractor Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (LBU) and JKR to coordinate and form working groups with SEB, Laku, Telekom, Petronas Gas and Sarawak Gas to focus on solving the shifting issue by next week.

“Therefore this morning (yesterday) the JKR as the coordinator has called LBU, the contractor and all agencies involved to be committed and to work very closely in resolving these issues so that the construction can be carried out smoothly.

“I also urge the contractor to ensure that there would be a good traffic management because the road will be congested and we need to minimise the problem,” he said, adding that there must also be adequate signage, warning lights and compliance with road safety requirements.

Lee said as at April 5, the construction of the highway from Pujut Link to Miri airport junction was five per cent ahead of schedule.

“This stretch is expected to be completed in April 2020 and so far, the progress has been good. I would like to congratulate the contractor (LBU) and JKR for their effort.

“I hope based on this kind of progress, the contractor would be able to finish the construction according to – if not ahead of – schedule,” he added.

Among those present were project manager for Package 11 of Pan Borneo Highway project Anup Kumar Sinha, SEB northern region manager Tan Joo Kok and JKR northern region project manager (special project unit) Furn Sze Chee.