Bitumen shortage delays Kuching’s Mile 6, Mile 7 flyovers’ opening, says JKR Unit

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The flyover at Mile 7 is still under construction in this photo dated June 4, 2022.

KUCHING (July 7): The opening of the Mile 6 and Mile 7 flyovers’ slow and fast lanes has been delayed due to a shortage of bitumen supply here since early last month, the Public Works Department’s Pan Borneo Highway Unit said.

It said in a statement that the bitumen supplier here was facing delayed shipment of bitumen supply from Singapore.

“To further complicate the situation, one of the Independent Oil Terminal (IOT) in Sejingkat, Kuching, faced a breakdown last month,” it said.

According to the Unit, the available bitumen stocks were very limited due to the demand from other contractors.

It explained that while waiting for the bitumen supply here to be replenished, the contractor of the flyovers was trying to source for supply from Bintulu.

“The contractor, however, is committed to complete and open two fast lanes (both ways) for the 7th Mile flyover by 17th July 2022 and to open all lanes for 7th Mile flyover by July 25.

“Despite the bitumen shortage problem, the contractor is targeting to open two fast lanes (both ways) for the Mile 6 flyover on July 15. The remaining lanes will be opened on the first week of August this year,” it said.

Yesterday, Michael Kong, special assistant to Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen, had questioned Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof on the delay in the opening of the Mile 6 flyover.

He pointed out that the federal minister was reported in the press on May 23 this year as saying that one lane of the flyover would be open before June and another lane before July.