Thursday, August 22

Outcrop along Airport Road as tourist, research attractions?

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MAKING IT BETTER: Lai (right) and Lesslar showing drawings of the proposed overhead bridge.

MIRI: The outcrop along Miri Airport Road will be developed into a tourist and geological research destination soon.

Mayor Lawrence Lai yesterday said Miri City Council (MCC) would improve and enhance the landscape, including fixing some facilities such as tables and benches, for the benefit of visitors to the historical geological site.

MCC would also be working with Sarawak Shell to enhance the safety of visitors by constructing an overhead bridge crossing along Miri Airport Road – from Taman Awam to the outcrop.

“Shell has set aside some allocation for the construction of the bridge. We are going to call for tender for the project soon. Work is expected to start either by the end of this year or early next year.”

Lai said this when Philip Lesslar, one of the six authors of ‘Geological Excursions Around Miri, Sarawak’ paid a courtesy call on him. The call was meant to promote the hardcover book to the public through MCC.

The other authors are Mario Wannier, Charlie Lee, Han Raven, Dr Rasoul Sorkhabi, and Abdullah Ibrahim.

Currently, visitors are exposed to danger when crossing the busy road to get to the outcrop from the parking lot at Taman Awam. They have to park there as there are no parking lots at the outcrop.

Meanwhile, Lesslar said the guidebook was invaluable for visitors, especially students and researchers going to the site.

“Some chapters of the book also give an insight into the history of Miri, and its oil and gas industry here.

“It took us about five years to compile all the materials for the book. With sponsorship from Shell we were able to get the book published.”

The book is on sale for RM85 each and is available from Belle’s Bookstore and Miri Airport.

Lai commented that the guidebook was a shot in the arm for tourism and research.