PHYSICAL work for the coastal road, second trunk road and the Sebuyau-Lingga-Sri Aman-Betong expressway is expected to commence in the first quarter of next year.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing said the projects were still at the procurement stage by Public Works Department (JKR).
Masing, who is also Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation, said the main components of the coastal road are Btg Saribas bridge, Btg Rajang bridge including a 17km access road, Sungai Krian bridge, Btg Paloh bridge, Muara Lasa bridge and Bintulu Jepak bridge which are all funded by the state government.
The coastal road project also includes pavement rehabilitation and upgrading of critical stretches for the whole existing coastal road, he said, adding the total cost of all the projects is RM3.49 billion.
"The state government is determined in its effort to implement the much-awaited 50-year dream of realising the coastal road, the second trunk road and the Sebuyau-Lingga-Sri Aman-Betong expressway," Masing told the august house in his winding-up speech yesterday.
He pointed out that it is important to note that road infrastructure has always played a key role in the progress and economic growth of a nation, both through the direct effects of a higher mobility for citizens and goods and also the indirect benefits derived from the process of building roads and bridges.
Masing went on to stress that the second trunk road and Sebuyau-Lingga-Sri Aman-Betong expressway serve to provide alternative shorter routes to the main trunk road, Pan Borneo highway and the coastal road network.
According to Masing, the first section of the second trunk road is from Kota Samarahan to Roban, covering a distance of about 112km of single carriageway JKR R5 two-lane highway.
The last section of about 30km includes the upgrading of the existing Jln Kelupu-Jln Tanjung Gunting to Lanang bridge in Sibu from two lanes to four lanes JKR R5 highway. He also told the House that the Sebuyau-Lingga-Sri Aman-Betong expressway covers a distance of about 95km of single carriageway JKR R5 two-lane highway.