Sarawak toll-free from today

Vehicles queuing up at the Tun Salahuddin Bridge toll plaza in this file photo taken on Dec 27. — Bernama photo

Vehicles queuing up at the Tun Salahuddin Bridge toll plaza in this file photo taken on Dec 27. — Bernama photo

The elegant Tun Salahuddin Bridge spans across the Sarawak River. — Zecon Bhd photo

The elegant Tun Salahuddin Bridge spans across the Sarawak River. — Zecon Bhd photo

KUCHING: Today marks the end of toll collection at the Tun Salahuddin Bridge here after 12 years of concession. Sarawak is now toll-free, with the last toll charges at the bridge scrapped as the clock struck midnight.

In April last year during the State Legislative Assembly sitting, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem announced that the Lanang Bridge in Sibu would be toll-free starting late May.

Beginning June 1 last year, the toll collection at the Asean Bridge in Miri was also abolished.

According to the official website of Zecon Bhd, the six-lane, dual-deck Tun Salahuddin Bridge is an elegant, low-level bridge over the Sarawak River that affords an unrestricted view of the river in both directions.

“This bridge is a multi-span, pre-stressed concrete that is 339m long and 28m wide, with a 325m embankment,” pointed out the corporation.

“It has a 1.5m central median and a granolithic pedestrian lane on either side – each 1.5m wide. This balanced cantilever bridge has a navigational clearance height of 9.07m above water and a navigational channel width of 65m.

“It is complete with architectural finishes and lightings. The entire scope of this undertaking entailed, in addition to the structure of the bridge, the construction of a four-lane road, a toll plaza, a toll plaza administration building and a roundabout to conclude the proposed span of works.”

The project was completed in September 2003, and the bridge was declared open by then-chief minister Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud on Sept 21, 2003.

The toll road was then gazetted and concession commenced in October 2003. On Dec 18 last year, the state government informed Zecon Bhd that toll collection and operations at the Tun Salahuddin Bridge here would cease as the clock struck midnight on Dec 31. Zecon Bhd announced in 2014 that its toll collection for the first quarter of the year (2014) was RM11.44 million. It is reported that the bridge over the Sarawak River contributed RM15.6 million to Zecon Group’s revenue for the financial year ending June 30 last year.

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