Pan Borneo Highway upgrade to cost RM16 billion

KOTA KINABALU: The upgrading of the 2,330km Pan Borneo Highway, connecting Sabah and Sarawak to a four-lane dual carriageway, is expected to cost RM16 billion, RM7.1 billion for the road in Sabah and RM9.3 billion in Sarawak.

That is why the implementation of the project must be carried out in stages throughout the 10th, 11th and 12th Malaysia Plans, Deputy Works Minister Datuk Yong Khoon Seng said in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

He said this when replying to Senator Datuk Paul Kong Sing Chu who had asked the Works Minister for an update on the Pan Borneo Highway and the reason for the delay in completion. He also wanted to know the distance of sealed roads throughout the country.

Yong replied that based on the gazetted list of federal roads, as of December 31, 2011, there were 17,327km of federal roads in the country.

Of the total, 14,303 or 82.5 per cent are in Peninsular Malaysia, 1,502km (8.7 per cent) in Sabah, 1,424km (8.2 per cent) in Sarawak and 98km in the Federal Territory of Labuan.

“As of now, under the 10th Malaysia Plan, the government has upgraded 99km of the Pan Borneo Highway from Kuching to Serian (55km) and from Sibu to Simpang Julau (30km) in Sarawak as well as 14km of the Kepayan-Petagas-Putatan stretch in Sabah into a four-lane dual carriageway.

“The government has also agreed to expedite the road upgrading between Donggongon and Papar into a four-lane dual carriageway. The project to upgrade the 42km road is expected to cost RM550 million,” he said.

According to Yong, works on the first phase of the project is expected to commence early next year whereas the other phases of the Pan-Borneo Highway would be implemented later until 2015.

The government, he added, is very committed and is always taking steps to improve the quality of roads in Sabah and Sarawak.

In view of that, the government has also approved RM423 million under the 10MP where RM100 million will be utilized to implement projects that will bring about impact to the users of the Pan Borneo Highway.

The scope of the project included resealing of roads, constructing lanes for overtaking, rectifying ‘blackspots’ or accident-prone areas and raising the road level in some areas, he said, adding that the projects were ongoing and expected to be completed latest by the end of this year.

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