Temburong Bridge Opens Ahead of Schedule
Photo Credit: The Scoop/Haadi Bakar
Categories: Current Affairs
Temburong, Brunei Darussalam – The Temburong Bridge that costs the government $1.4 billion opened on Tuesday, 17th March 2020 after nearly six years of construction to connect Brunei's most remote district with the capital.
The announcement was made by Second Minister of Finance and Economy (MoFE) YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah at a press conference on Monday, saying that the decision to open the bridge ahead of schedule came about after the travel ban was imposed by the government on Brunei citizens and residents in an effort to contain COVID-19 outbreak.
There are many Temburong residents that commute daily to the capital but they are limited to either 45-minute boat ride or a two-hour drive over land, passing through Malaysian state, Sarawak and four immigration checkpoints along the way.
The bridge will enable Temburong residents to bypass Malaysia as the borders are closed and will help facilitate the transportation of goods and supplied to the Brunei's most remote district, said MoFE Minister. Measuring about 26.3km long across the Brunei Bay, the bridge is the longest oversea bridge in Southeast Asia and the largest project in terms of infrastructure that has ever been undertaken by the Brunei government.
Photo by: The Scoop
Operating hours for the bridge would be 6am to 10pm, however, the minister said that certain criteria have been put in place for motorists using the bridge. Access will only be limited to Brunei-registered vehicles in class I, III, IV and VI while commercial vehicles (class II and IV) are required to apply for permission from the Bridge Maintenance Office. Personal/Private vehicle road-users must limit their speed to only 80km/h and 65km/h for commercial vehicles.
YB Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew also informed that the installation of CCTV cameras and cables are under way and Jalan Kota Batu is also undergoing expansion work that is expected to complete by the end of April.
A patrol team, assisted by the Royal Brunei Police Force will be on site to ensure smooth traffic flow, and the minister added that continuous monitoring will be conducted by the authorities and that the government has the rights to close down the bridge any time during adverse weather conditions and/or should the circumstances warrant the closure of the bridge.
Transport and Infocommunications minister, YB Dato Seri Setia Abdul Mutalib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Hj Mohammad Yusof also advised that motorists avoid non-essential travel using the bridge for the time being. He also informed The Scoop that a limit has been imposed on the number of passengers on boat services as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19
He also added that The Maritime and Port Authority of Brunei Darussalam and boat operators will provide hand sanitisers and soap at the Bandar Seri Begawan boat terminal and Bangar Passenger Terminal for passengers before getting onboard.
Queries on the bridge can be directed to the Darussalam line 123 or emailed to the Bridge Maintenance Office in cases of emergency, users can contact the Operation Centre via Darussalam 123 line.