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Pan Borneo Highway: Works Ministry hopes no more delays, says deputy minister

Deputy Works Minister Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup (2nd left) is briefed about the progress of a bridge at Mile 32 by Pan Borneo Highway Sabah sector chief assistant director Mohd Shamsul Nizam Abdul Wahid near Sandakan, Sabah, April 21, 2022. — Bernama pic

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TELUPID, April 21 — The Works Ministry (KKR) hopes there will be no more delays in completing the Pan Borneo Highway after the country entered the transition to endemic phase of Covid-19, said Deputy Minister Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup.

He acknowledged that the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic was one of the main reasons that caused the delay in the highway’s construction, thus resulting in delays to the maintenance of several roads in the Pan Borneo alignment.

“When the government implemented the MCO, there were many problems such as the shortage of workers and materials, closure of factories, and others. However, since there is no MCO now, we can now implement the work.

“KKR always monitors and receives implementation progress reports monthly to ensure contractors will complete the work according to the scope and schedule that had been agreed,” he told reporters after visiting several work packages for the highway project near here.

Arthur called on the people to be patient while the implementation of the project is resumed, especially for the Sandakan-Telupid route where several roads were badly damaged.

He said the contractor has begun paving the road for the public’s safety, but he did not deny that there would still be some inconveniences experienced by road users due to the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway.

“However, this inconvenience is only temporary during the construction work. At the same time, the implementation status is progressing quite well,” he also said.

The 58-km Sandakan-Telupid Road is an alignment under work packages 28, 29 and 30 of the Pan Borneo Highway project, launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob last November. The project involves a construction cost of RM877 million.

The scope of the road construction involves upgrading the two-way road (single carriageway) to a dual carriageway (four lanes), together with the construction of three new bridges and a multi-level interchange.

The work package is expected to take three years and is scheduled for completion in October 2024. — Bernama

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