Posted on 21 Jun 2023
Source of News: The Borneo Post

MUKAH (June 21): Construction of the RM285.540 million Batang Igan bridge in Igan near here is progressing well.

However, Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah wants its contractor to take full advantage of the current good weather by doubling their work rate.

He said this was to ensure that the expected rainy season at the end of the year would not affect its progress then.

He was earlier given a briefing on its work progress by officers from the Public Works Department (JKR) and the contractor representatives.

“I am very satisfied with its progress. We expect it to be completed by the first quarter of 2025,” Uggah, who is also the Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development (MIPD), told the media after visiting the construction site yesterday.

The 1.439km long bridge is currently 47.28 per cent completed against its actual schedule of 51.18 per cent.

The slight delay is due to the shortage of certain skilled workers and high capacity cranes.

“However at the briefing, the contractor representative promised us they will find the solutions soon.

“I am happy they have and will recruit more local folks…actually I hope they will get more ‘orang kampung’.

“This will help to boost the local economy. At the same time, the contractor will be spared the problem of finding enough accommodation facilities.

“So this will be a good example of how a government project can generate economic opportunities for the local people,” Uggah said.

He described the Batang Igan bridge as a game changer for the Igan and Matu areas.

“It will greatly enhance accessibility there. It will increase economic activities.

“I do not think the people ever expect such a project to come their way,” he said.

On another matter, Uggah said the JKR would continue to monitor the safety of ferry users in the state.

“JKR is always monitoring to ensure all standard operating procedures (SOPs) regarding users safety are put into practice each time they use the ferry.

“Let us not wait for another unfortunate incident to happen for us to step up on our enforcement.

“So we want the department to monitor the ferry operation and to give us feedback on the compliance by the operators.

“Sometime after a period of lull, we tend to be slack in our enforcement and so we have directed the JKR to continue to be alert in monitoring,” he said.

Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Integrity and Ombudsman) and Jemoreng assemblyman Datuk Dr Juanda Jaya as well as MIPD permanent secretary Chiew Chee Yaw accompanied Uggah on the working visit.

The Borneo Post