By John Isaac
THE construction progress of Pan Borneo Highway in Sarawak is now at 51 percent, which is behind the initial work plan at 62 percent.
Senior Minister of Works Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the figure was made known to him by the state Public Works Department (JKR) team.
“Tomorrow, I will have a detailed discussion with the state JKR on the implementation of the Pan Borneo Highway Project to learn more about its progress.
“With the current rate at 51 percent, I expect that we will achieve 70 percent next year,” he told reporters at a meet-and-greet session with state media editors held at Waterfront Hotel as reported by New Sarawak Tribune.
The mega project in Sarawak was initially slated to end by next year but due to a change of government in 2018 which saw the termination of Project Delivery Partner (PDP), the completion date was brought forward to 2022.
Fadillah further explained that the Pan Borneo Highway Project covering both Sabah and Sarawak is expected to reach completion by the first quarter of 2023.
“Hopefully by then, Covid-19 issues have been resolved and we can have more workers coming in to contribute manpower in the construction industry especially to expedite the completion of the project.
“So far, only two work packages have been completed, namely Telok Melano and Simpang Nyabau-Bakun,” he added.
He also informed that the appointment of a Project Management Consultant (PMC) for Pan Borneo Highway Project was still in the process, pending the final decision from the Ministry of Finance (MoF).
“I hope the appointment of the PMC will be announced by January next year. The PMC will assist the state JKR in terms of monitoring and verification of works done by the contractors,” he elaborated.
Commenting on the construction of the second phase of the Pan Borneo Highway stretching from Miri to Lawas without passing Brunei, he said it will start next year.
“The proposed route will cover about few hundred kilometres because the road will be from Lawas, passing through Limbang and then to Marudi and several other areas, ngekot tepi-tepi Brunei (along Brunei’s periphery),” he said.