Bridge of pride fast on track

|     Azlan Othman     |

THE mega Temburong Bridge linking Bandar Seri Begawan and Pekan Bangar is currently 30-35 per cent complete and works on the $1.6-billion engineering marvel are expected to be finished by November 2019, according to a top official associated with the project.

“We are now working on the permanent bridge project where we have constructed 500 metres in length from south and north,” said Mohd Ali bin Abdullah, Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) Manager of China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited (CSCEC) which has undertaken the CC4 package of the multi-billion bridge project.

Talking to the Weekend Bulletin on the sidelines of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s meet-and-greet session with people in Pekan Bangar, Temburong last Thursday, the official noted that to meet of Brunei’s HSSE requirements, a UK system has been set up.

“Everything goes well and we have entered the second year of the project. Insya Allah, we will be able to complete the bridge in November 2019.

“Overall, the bridge is now 30-35 per cent completed including the construction of the CC2 and CC3 projects undertaken by Daelim Industrial Co Ltd of South Korea. Our scope of work is mostly on the swampy land in the Temburong reserve forest while Daelim focuses more on above water construction.

“We are facing several challenges as working on swampy land is unpredictable in nature as it consists of both soft and hard ground. But, we have overcome the learning curve and are moving forward,” the official said.

“In terms of safety, we have achieved 2.35 million hours without loss time injury (LTI) since the beginning of the project back in October 2015. We will strive to maintain zero LTI till the end of the project,” he added.

Mohd Ali bin Abdullah, Health and Safety Manager for China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited. - AZLAN OTHMAN
Mohd Ali bin Abdullah, Health and Safety Manager for China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited. – AZLAN OTHMAN

The Temburong Bridge, which will link Jalan Utama Mentiri in Brunei-Muara District and Jalan Labu Estate in Temburong District traversing the Brunei Bay, is one of the largest public infrastructure projects ever carried out in this country.

The bridge reflects His Majesty’s concern for the welfare of the citizens and residents of the country and will allow commuters to travel with ease by avoiding four frequently congested immigration checkpoints and shorten the travel time between the two towns.

The project involves five contract packages, or phases, and includes construction of two 13.4km marine viaducts, a 1.1-km cable-stay navigation bridge and the 11.8km Temburong viaduct, installation of systems encompassing traffic control and surveillance, supervisory control, data acquisition, road lighting as well as supply network to provide high-voltage electricity to power the entire bridge.

In tune with Brunei’s Malay Islamic Monarchy philosophy, the bridge, which overlooks the Brunei Bay on one side and the Kampong Ayer on the other, will also feature several stars placed within crescent moons set atop towers, or pylons, that will also carry the three ‘Kalimah’ of ‘Subhanallah’, ‘Alhamdulillah’, and ‘Allahu Akbar’, with each signature tower dedicated to the country’s four districts.

In the New Year titah last year, the monarch said the Temburong Bridge is seen as a mega project heralding the modernisation drive of Brunei. Once completed, it will provide many socio-economic opportunities for Bruneians by helping expand tourism as per the country’s plans for financial diversity.