• Senior Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said several more sections of the highway are expected to be opened this year and three other sections in Sarikei, Bukit Begunan, and Lambir are expected to be completed next year.

KUCHING (Sept 4): Phase one of the Pan Borneo Highway project in Sarawak is now 86% complete, according to Senior Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.

He said several more sections of the highway are expected to be opened this year and three other sections in Sarikei, Bukit Begunan, and Lambir are expected to be completed next year.

"The three sections are facing various challenges including sites that need to be re-examined.

"There are even some that require reprocessing of the design due to the unsuitable terrain conditions," he told reporters after attending the Sarawak Media Engagement programme on Saturday.

The RM16.12 billion Pan Borneo Highway phase one involves the construction of a 786-kilometre stretch of road from Telok Melano to Miri.

Meanwhile, Fadillah said the Ministry of Finance is also currently finalising the procurement aspect for the Sarawak-Sabah Link Road (SSLR) Phase 2 project and the Trans Borneo Highway (LTB) project and a ceiling allocation of RM12 billion has been set for both projects.

"We also hope to be able to finalise the awarding of contracts to contractors this year and by early next year this project will be able to start," he said.

On Aug 7, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the federal government had approved the SSLR Phase 2 project and the LTB project, and construction would commence as early as next year.

Ismail Sabri said technical research for the Phase 2 SSLR and LTB project connecting Miri, Limbang, and Lawas was in the final stage, with construction expected to take three to five years.

The prime minister also said that the project would not only allow residents of northern Sarawak to reach Sabah through two road network options but also benefit residents in Mulu, Long Seridan, Nanga Medamit, Long Lopeng, Ba'kelalan, and Merarap who relied on logging roads to commute.

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