HM initiates Temburong bridge work

National 3 minutes, 16 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, laid the foundation for the $1.6-billion Temburong bridge yesterday.

The 30-km bridge, which is expected to be completed in 2019, will link Jalan Utama Mentiri in Brunei-Muara district and Jalan Labu Estet in Temburong district, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement.

Designed with an Islamic motif, the bridge is expected to cut the travel time between the two districts.

A previous report had said travel between the districts could take 30 to 40 minutes through the bridge, compared to the current 45-minute boat ride, or an hour and a half drive by land.

The bridge is expected to become a landmark in Brunei, with the PMO describing it as one of the largest public infrastructure projects carried out in the country.

In an interview, Legislative Council (LegCo) representative to Temburong YB Hj Sulaiman Hj Ahad said the bridge will improve socio-economic development in the district.

He said the bridge is also expected to increase the population in the district, with the building of more housing.

Temburong is currently home to about 9,000 residents.

“When there are developments in the district, the population will increase and this will attract entrepreneurs to do business,” said YB Hj Sulaiman.

The LegCo member said he is also confident that the bridge will provide easier access for tourists to visit the Ulu Ulu National Park Resort.

The bridge project is divided into five contract packages. The government had awarded three contracts to joint venture companies last year.

The first contract named CC2 was awarded to a joint venture between South Korean firm Daelim Industrial Co Ltd and Swee Sdn Bhd.

The CC2 contract, valued at $600 million, comprises a 13.4km low-level bridge or viaduct across the Brunei Bay.

The Brunei-Korean joint venture was also awarded with the CC3 package to build two navigational bridges.

The Brunei-China joint venture between China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd and Ocean Quarry & Construction Sdn Bhd was awarded the CC4 contract, which involves the construction of the Temburong viaducts.

The 11.8km viaduct bridge will be built over the mangrove swamp area from Tanjong Kerasek to Labu in Temburong. This also includes a smaller bridge crossing Sungai Labu and a junction treatment at Jalan Puni-Labu in Temburong.

The CC5A (traffic control and surveillance system, supervisory control and data acquisition system and road lighting) and CC5B (power supply system) are still open for tender, according to the Public Works Department’s website.

The government started plans for the bridge in 2009, when the Ministry of Development opened a tender to study its feasibility.

During the foundation laying ceremony at the project site in Kg Sungai Besar, His Majesty was briefed on the project’s progress, and watched a video presentation that showed the design of the bridge once construction has been completed.

The monarch also viewed a Lego model of the Temburong bridge, which was displayed at the exhibition.

The model, which used 515,880 Lego pieces to construct the bridge, was built by P-Nut’s Merchandise Team.

The ceremony also saw Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abd Rahman Hj Ibrahim, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Finance Minister, presenting a pesambah to His Majesty. The minister is also chairman of the National Committee of the Temburong Bridge.

The monarch was accompanied by His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, The Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, HRH Prince ‘Abdul Malik and HRH Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel.

Also present were Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office YB Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Md Yasmin Hj Umar, who is also deputy chairman of the National Committee for the Temburong Bridge and Development Minister YB Dato Paduka Hj Bahrin Abdullah.

The Brunei Times