Seeking New Ways to Build Roads
Some sections of the proposed coastal highway in Sarawak will be built using new technology. Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the new technology would be used to mitigate the road profile, especially on peat soils.
He said there were lots of new technologies available for the implementers to harden the road on peat soil.
"One of it is called the bio-cemented technology. It is a combination of cement as well as a biological agent like bacteria.
"I have asked Curtin University to do a research on that and if it is positive then we can use that technology for our coastal road on peat soil" he told reporters after the launch of coastal road development seminar here yesterday.
He was asked to elaborate on the subject matter which he mentioned in his opening speech earlier. Abang Johari said the roads constructed using conventional technology that the state was currently using was not so durable on peat soil.
He said certain sections of the coastal road, especially along the peat soil area, had a wavy surface, which he had experienced himself when he went to Simunjan on his motorbike recently.
He believed that with the combination of the bacteria and cement there is a possibility that the peat soil could be hardened to prevent the road from becoming wavy.
Abang Johari said the formula of the new technology was already there and is being applied on the site now.
"What is important now is for it to be considered for the real situation. The question is to source for bacteria. We must have the bacteria, the biological agent" he said.
The Chief Minister also said the whole network of the coastal road will cover a distance of about 900 km, and its construction will take off end of this year and is expected to be fully completed in 10 years' time.
On the funding, he said it would be under the next Malaysia Plan and the state would also contribute to it as it has its own business model to fund the project.
Although the cost of connecting the various places in Sarawak with coastal roads is quite high, he said the government under his leadership would build the roads at whatever cost.
"This is because based on the cost and benefits analysis that was presented to me, the benefits will be more than the cost.
"We believe we will be able to do it because we have got the Development Bank of Sarawak, which will manage our new business model" he said.
Also present at the opening ceremony were Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing, Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah, Assistant Minister of Coastal Road Datuk Julaihi Narawi and Assistant Minister of Transportation Datuk Dr Jerip Susil.