Soil erosion hits road construction

National 1 minute, 51 seconds


SOIL erosion hit a slope next to Jalan Labi adjacent to the construction site of the Telisai-Lumut Highway on Sunday, disrupting water supplies to residents in inner, rural Belait.

A partial road closure has been imposed as a precautionary measure, with a small stretch of road near the affected area restricted to a single lane until further notice, said the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) in a statement issued yesterday.

Personnel stationed on opposing sides of the road were seen directing traffic yesterday afternoon, allowing those exiting and heading towards Labi to take turns to use the single lane. Warning lights and safety barriers have also been installed.

Xiong Xiao Hui, an engineer from China Communication Construction Company Third Harbour Engineering Co Ltd - one of the two contractors involved in the project - pointed out that the erosion damaged water pipes, some of which could be seen lying detached at the bottom of the affected slope.

The Public Works Department (JKR) of Belait said that new water pipes, bypassing the affected slope, are currently being installed and are expected to be completed by tomorrow or the day after.

“Water supply to the Mukims of Labi, Bukit Sawat, Melilas and Sukang have been affected. We have a storage tank in Labi, which can last a day and a half, and for the other areas we are bringing water through our water tankers,” said Acting Assistant Director of the Public Works Department (Belait and Tutong) Justina Liew Vun Ching.

She explained that 12 “joints” of pipes, each taking approximately 45 minutes to install are being installed to ensure water supply returns to normal.

BEDB in a statement issued yesterday said that action has been taken to prevent further erosion by laying of tarpaulin, a heavy-duty waterproof canvas onto the exposed slope.

The canvas will also allow for immediate reinstatement and other rectification work to be carried out.

BEDB did not disclose the reason behind the erosion, but assured the public that it would not affect the project’s expected completion date of April next year.

They also reminded road users to take extra caution whilst approaching the affected area, by paying attention to the warning signs, safety barriers and lights.

The Brunei Times