Abang Johari (second right) and Masing (third right) listen to a briefing on the project.

KUCHING: The state government will proceed with the construction of the five major bridges using its own funds, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the state government had approved the funds for the implementation of all the five bridges and therefore, the construction of all the bridges would go ahead.

The five major bridges are at Batang Lupar, Batang Saribas, Batang Krian, Batang Igan and Batang Kemena.

Abang Johari said they could not review the projects now to avoid any delay in the delivery of the projects.

“If we were to review the funding, asking the federal government to finance the projects, it will take time for them to approve the funds, which will eventually delay the delivery.

“What we do is, we proceed with our own money; since we have committed, we will do it,” he told reporters after officiating the earth breaking ceremony of the proposed Jalan Sungai Maong to Segedup road here today.

He said this when asked if the state government is considering asking the federal government to fund the construction of the five major bridges.

Abang Johari said what they might do is to reimburse the amount used for the construction of the five bridges from the federal government and use the funds to implement other infrastructure projects in Sarawak.

The state government last year had approved the construction of five major bridges at a total cost of RM2.5 billion to connect coastal roads between Kuching and Miri, stretching over a span of 928km.

The five major bridges are expected to be completed within the next five years.

The Batang Lupar bridge is said to be costing RM1 billion, Batang Saribas (RM450 million), Batang Krian (RM133 million), Batang Igan (RM350 million) and Batang Kemena (RM300 million).

Earlier in his speech, the Chief Minister said the local community would experience a boost upon the completion of the proposed Jalan Sungai Maong to Segedup road.

He said new projects usually come with new employment opportunities, stimulating the local economy and lead to a boost in the real estate development.

“We will bring development to area like building housing estates, which will also improve the welfare of the people not just in the area but also the public at large,” he added.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing, Senior Minister and Minister of Work Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof and Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian were also present.