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The Sarawak government plans to build a new bridge linking both Samarahan and Kuching in the next four years.

Samarahan Division is already connected to Kuching by land, so the new Kuching – Samarahan bridge will be an additional alternative to get to either Kuching or Samarahan.

The bridge will be 1.3KM long, and it is proposed as an alternative to reduce traffic congestion along the Kuching – Samarahan expressway.

Location of the new Kuching – Samarahan bridge

According to news reports, the new bridge will by-pass Kuching City, and link Sejingkat to Samarahan.

The bridge will be met with a soon-to-be upgraded, nine-kilometre road stretch of Jalan Kampung Tanjong Bako in Samarahan. A new road will be built to connect the bridge to Batang Samarahan Bridge.

Proposed plans. Photo by UKAS.

Sejingkat is an industrial area and having such bridge would definitely decrease travel time between Sejingkat and Samarahan.

Samarahan itself is linked to other parts of Sarawak via the Sarawak costal road network, hence making it an important gateway to transport goods to the whole of Sarawak.

Aside from that, Sejingkat is also close to Senari Port, which also means transportation of good to and from the port would be faster as it will not only by-pass Kuching City (which means avoiding traffic congestions), but also allow provide a shorter direct route out of Kuching.

This will not only decrease travel time but in turn will reduce traffic in the city, as well as reduce the number of heavy lorries using the Kuching – Samarahan Expressway.

Cost and duration of construction

The 1.3-kilometre bridge is worth RM370 million.

It is not known if this cost includes the construction and upgrade of the roads linking the bridge.

However, the project is expected to be completed in four years (2025), hence likely being usable by then.

Construction on the project has already begun.

Conclusion

The increase of traffic from Kuching and Samarahan has been rather significant in recent years.

The once empty Samarahan Expressway is currently being upgraded to cater to this, but since Samarahan, particularly areas surrounding UNIMAS and UiTM, are fast growing into massive residential areas, one can only expect the traffic to grow as years past by.

That said, having this new bridge which allows heavy vehicles like lorries by-pass the Kuching – Samarahan Expressway is a good move and hoefully will not only reduce traffic congestion along the expressway, but also reduce the number of traffic accidents along the stretch.