LAWAS (Nov 6): The construction of the 425-km long Sabah-Sarawak Link Road will be the first road access to connect the two states without passing through Brunei.
Construction of the project, costing RM5.2 billion and will take six to ten years to build, will be carried out in phases with the first package, stretching 90km from Lawas to Kampung Pa’ Berunut via Long Sukang and Long Lopeng, to begin in October next year.
The second package stretches 160km from Kampung Pa' Berunut to Long Lama and involves exit roads covering 175km.
“After more than 56 years of the formation of Malaysia, this is the first time the federal government has approved construction of a surfaced road project which will serve as the last frontier to connect the interior of Sarawak and Sabah, replacing the existing timber roads,” he said.
Baru said the new road network would facilitate travel by those from Sabah going to Sarawak, or vice versa, as they would no longer have to go through the eight border security checks at the Malaysia – Brunei border for motorists using the existing coastal road and the Pan Borneo Expressway.
It would not only facilitate inter-state crossing, but would also make the travel more comfortable and safe, he said, adding that for residents in the interior areas, the road project was a fantasy.
“But, the federal government has made it a reality to ensure the people get to benefit from the shared prosperity.
“As someone who originates from Ulu Sarawak, this is what I have been waiting for. Currently, we have to use four wheel drive vehicles with off road tyres to go from one place to another in the interior areas,” he said.
Baru also said the project was an integral part of the Trans Borneo Highway to complement the road network in Borneo and improve the connectivity of rural areas in Sarawak and Sabah to Brunei and Kalimantan, Indonesia.
The event also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the road survey works between the Public Works Department and two survey companies.
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