MARUDI (Sept 22): The much-awaited Marudi Bridge project which was initially slated for completion this year will instead be ready by end of 2024 due to contractor problem, said Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Abang Johari said the construction of the bridge, costing RM75 million, had not seen any progress since the start of the project in 2019, which then resulted in the termination of the contractor.
“I take this matter seriously, so together with Uggah (Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas), we look for solution for this bridge in Marudi.
“Finally, we terminated the previous contractor and through the existing procedure, we appointed a new contractor that has the experience; and this contractor has the experience in building the Long Lama bridge,” he said during a working visit to Marudi today.
He added that the Public Works Department (JKR) had briefed him that under the new contractor, the project is expected to be completed in 32 months.
However, he said the new contractor has given him the assurance that the project would instead be completed within 24 months.
“All the equipment (machinery) are all here. Alhamdulillah, I saw that the works had started and hopefully by end of 2024, this bridge is completed,” he said.
Once the bridge is completed, Abang Johari said it would become the catalyst for economic development, particularly for Marudi and Baram, and people can easily travel from Miri to the district.
On other projects in Baram, Abang Johari said together with Uggah and the three people’s representatives here through Highland Development Agency (HDA), the state government had initiated a project to construct a road from Marudi to Sungai Melinau in Mulu.
However, he added, the project may take five to six years to complete.
“Once completed, this project will change the landscape of Baram and its economy. The cost to build this road is going to be high, but it has to be done, in stages.
“My target, by 2030, Sarawak will become the most developed state in the country,” he said.
At the same function, he also touched on two other ongoing projects in Marudi, namely the water supply project to Poyut-Lubok Nibong and Marudi Waterfront project.
He pointed out that the water supply project is expected to have slight delay in its completion after he told Sarawak Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) to make some changes to its original planning.
“As for the Waterfront project, it is still using the old wharf. If that is the case, it would not look good, so I want it to follow the Kuching Waterfront which is floating waterfront,” he said.
Among those present at the function were Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, State Secretary Dato Sri Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki, Baram MP Anyi Ngau, Deputy Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government, who is also Marudi assemblyman, Datu Dr Penguang Manggil.