Pandaruan bridge construction to begin in April 2012


THE construction of the Sg Pandaruan Bridge, a transboundary bridge at the Brunei-Sarawak border, will begin in April 2012 and scheduled to be completed after a year.

The tender for the project will be open in December to companies from Brunei and Malaysia.

The details were disclosed by Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Communications Dato Paduka Hj Alaihuddin Pehin Orang Kaya Digadong Seri Lela Dato Seri Utama Hj Mohd Taha. As the co-chairperson for the Joint Project Team and the chairperson of the committee, he was at the project site to officiate at the ceremony for the Sg Pandaruan bridge in Temburong yesterday.

Dato Paduka Hj Alaihuddin said the bridge will increase connectivity in the context of physical, institutional and people-to-people linkages triggering growth not only in Bimp-Eaga areas, but in the Asean.

"Several agreements had been reached including the establishment of a Joint Project Team (JPT) that will evaluate and consider the bridge's design, specification as well as oversee the smooth running of the project.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Malaysian Prime Minister YAB Dato Laila Utama Dato Seri Mohd Najib Tun Hj Abdul Razak witnessed the signing ceremony on Monday. Representing the respective governments in signing the Sungai Pandaruan Bridge Construction Agreement were Minister of Communications Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar for Brunei and Malaysia's Minister of Works, Dato Shaziman Abu Mansor.

Both ministers were also present at the ceremony in Temburong.

The bridge does not only means providing connectivity opening up economic, business and tourism opportunities between the neighbours it also has a deeper meaning: bridging closer silaturrahim (relationships), said Dato Paduka Hj Alaihuddin.

The Sungai Pandaruan Bridge will smoothen travel for Bruneians and Malaysians passing through Temburong and Limbang.

To date, people travelling through Temburong to Limbang and vice versa rely on a ferry service to cross the river which is only some 20m wide.

The bridge would facilitate the movement of land vehicles across the river during peak hours, weekends and holiday seasons. During this time, queue time can reach up to five hours.

The ferry services are operated by two companies on a rotation basis, each ferry has a maximum load of 10 for saloon cars and six to eight for bigger vehicles, and takes approximately five minutes to transport vehicles across the river.

The Sg Pandaruan bridge will be 200m in length and 14m wide. It will be built downstream of Sg Pandaruan, not far from the current ferry point, said Acting Assistant Director of Roads, Yee Kok On.The Brunei Times

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