Sarawak to ensure future road planning meets long term traffic demand

18/07/2022 04:20 PM

KUCHING, July 18 (Bernama) -- The Sarawak Government is taking steps to ensure that roads that they are planning to build would be able to meet the demands of traffic in the State in the long run.

Sarawak Deputy Premier and Minister of Infrastructure and Ports Development, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the traffic volume in the State had increased tremendously while some of the major roads used were built based on plans made as far back as 40 years ago.

"There are various options that can be taken like building flyovers, underground passage, installing traffic lights and others, depending on the situation in each town or area. We need to incorporate whatever option is taken in our planning for the future, like 50 years from now." he said.

Speaking to reporters after inspecting the conversion works of five roundabouts to traffic light intersections along the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway near here today, he said proper studies need to be conducted before any of the options could be finalised.

"Let us study the proposal. Our road traffic not only in Kuching but statewide have increased tremendously. More and more people can afford to buy their own cars now  but our roads were built 30 or 40 years ago. This is a reflection of the prosperity enjoyed by the people,” he said.

Meanwhile, Uggah said a rescue contractor who had been appointed to continue with the conversion works of the five roundabouts into traffic light intersections along the expressway is expected to complete the job in 15 months’ time.

According to him, the contractor had started the work and had informed his ministry of their plan to acquire the traffic light equipment required while the Sarawak Public Works Department (JKR Sarawak) would make sure that the plan is implemented.

"The JKR will work out a timeline for works to proceed progressively and the department will monitor this as its Key performance indicator( KPI). On the works done so far by the contractor, I hope it is not a case of a new broom sweeping well," he said.

Uggah said this conversion project had been a controversial one as it had  been delayed and causing frustration not only to the public but the State government as well.

"The (State) government decided to appoint a rescue contractor which is our strategy should there be any ‘sick’ project so that it will be completed as scheduled," he said, adding that he would personally check the work progress from time to time.