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Compiled by Yazid Aji

Tungku-Jerudong link to ease jams

Siti Hajar

February 1, 2011 – A new carriageway is under construction to ease traffic congestion in some parts of the Brunei-Muara District. Earthworks are underway to make way for a dual carriageway that will connect the Jalan Tungku roundabout to Jalan Jerudong and this Phase 1 30-month project is expected to be completed by December this year.

A Phase 1 entails site clearing as well as curtworks for 515-kilometre, four land dual carriageway and services a reserve linking Simpang 596 Jalan Jerudong at the West and Jalan Tungku at the East. The alignment also links a proposed Katok Link Road as well as a flyover in the future.

As a portion of the road within Simpang 396 in Jalan Jerudong is in need of proper repairs, this project also means that the stretch of road will be improved as well as widened to ensure easy navigation for road users.

Piling to drainage structures, lined channel, the construction of drainage works that will include box and pipe culverts, median drain, readside drain, cascaded drain and concrete lined channel and slope protection works will also be carried out.

Following the Phase I project, built at a cost of BND12,875,775, will be the construction of roadwork and pavement that will be carried out in Phase 2 and is expected to be completed by 2013.

Government cars heading to the project site. PHOTO: SITI HAJAR

Minister of Development Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman, in an interview said that the carriageway project is one of the bigger projects to be carried out for Brunei Darussalam among a few bigger projects that “we have in mind” and added that every task carried out by the ministry is considered “a big important project”. In the future, he said, the area will also see further development and infrastructure improvements.

Other development plans in terms of roadwork, said the minister, will involve the Bengkurong-Masin road, which becomes heavily congested especially during rush hour and the ministry is currently sorting out ways and finding alternative routes towards easing traffic.

Meanwhile, a few other road-related projects are also being conducted. The road in Jalan McArthur in the capital is being widened under a nine-month contract at a cost of BND637,359, and is expected to be completed by April this year. The project involves making the one-lane, two-way road into a two-lane, two-way road at a length of 300 metres while casing congestion in the area. A concrete drain as well as a walkway and parking area will also be made available to the public.

A bridge along Jalan Kumbang Pasang is also the focus of the ministry in which repairs and strengthening works are being done for the replacement of the deteriorated Sungai Tungkadeh Bridge junction opposite STPRI. The project, costing BND721,873, is expected to be completed by September this year that includes the design and construction of road division, clearance of waterway under the bridge, removal of existing columns, replacement of deleted steel beams to concrete beams and so on.

However, the project has faced some minor delays and is currently -12.5 per cent behind schedule Delays, said the minister, are sometimes expected caused by the weather especially during the rainy season.

The Ministry of Development, through the Public Works Department is in the midst of upgrading road networks and drainage systems in Kampong Mata-Mata and Kampong Tungku areas in Gadong. The project, at a cost of BND13,500,000, began in November 2008 and is expected to be completed by May this year.

There have been some concerns from the public with regards to the maintenance of several roads, said the minister and the ministry is currently taking steps to improve the roads and have identified priority areas.

Started in 1991, the Public Works Department has conducted several road improvement projects leading to housing areas around the country under a scheme that allocates finances derived from the National Development Plan funds.

A total of BND22 million has been set aside towards improving housing roads within the Brunei-Muara District comprising 200 “simpangs”.

Broken down into three packages, BND57.3 million has been allocated to attend to 82 simpangs, BND6.7 million for 73 simpangs and BND57.8 million for 65 simpangs with works comprising building concrete drainage, curbs, erecting road signs and so on.

To be eligible for government assistance for road maintenance involving asphalt, several criterias must be met including the number of houses in each simpang (at least five), 30 houses for every kilometre, original road constructed of crushed stone and that houses have been occupied for at least one year.

In a working visit yesterday, the minister, along with several other Ministry of Development personnel, also looked into the city centre’s waterfront, which is almost completed. Once the project ends, the waterfront will then be handed over to the Ministry of Home Affairs.