BETONG, March 1 — The construction of the RM848.7 million Batang Lupar bridge, the nation’s longest spanning over a river, is slightly behind schedule, Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, said after visiting the site today.
He, however, said he is satisfied with the work progress, despite the inclement weather and rough sea conditions affecting the construction of the 4.8-km-long bridge.
“I believe the contractors Perbena Emas Sendirian Berhad is capable of completing it earlier than its scheduled completion date of July 7, 2025,” he told reporters.
The local company is partnering one of China’s biggest and most reputable construction firms, the China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group Company Limited in the project.
Uggah, who is also state Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development, said the overall progress is at 16.59 per cent as against the schedule of 20.71 per cent.
“However, I am rather happy as at least I am not visiting a sick project considering its length, cost and other specifications and all the challenges,” he said.
He said the project construction could be expedited when the contractors are able to get more workers from China.
Earlier, Uggah was briefed on the work progress by the state Public Work Department (JKR) deputy director Cassidy Morris and Perbena Emas executive director Helen Teng.
Uggah was accompanied by his ministry Permanent Secretary Chiew Chew Yaw on the visit.
Later Uggah visited the 1.55 kilometres long Batang Saribas 1 bridge costing RM375.5 million and is targeted to be completed by May 22, 2024.
Its current work progress is at 62.51 per cent against the schedule of 61.61 per cent.
He also inspected the second RM385 million 4.2-km-long Batang Saribas bridge which is scheduled to be completed by May 24, 2025.
Its construction physical progress is at 12.19 per cent versus its schedule of 11.22 per cent.
Uggah assured that his ministry and the state JKR would continue to monitor closely the implementation of all approved projects.
“We will be strict in our monitoring or supervision.
“We will continue to do frequent ground visits to check on or verify the progress reports sent to us,” he said, adding that when projects are approved and announced publicly, the people are very anxious to use them.
“So we need to ensure these projects will be delivered based on the quality and delivery schedule agreed upon,” Uggah said.