Despite several 'glitches'
Bandar Seri Begawan - The Telisai-Lumut Highway project should be completed by the end of the year, despite experiencing several "glitches", the minister of development said yesterday.
In an interview with The Brunei Times, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Suyoi Hj Osman expressed optimism that setbacks to the $138 million project in Belait District would be overcome and completed more or less on time.
"There have been glitches here and there, but when it's completed, it will not be far off from the target (deadline)," the minister said.
A recent report revealed that the project had fallen slightly behind schedule and was just one-third completed, prompting a further $10 million to be spent on acquiring additional machinery and equipment, as well as a bigger workforce in an attempt to offset the delay.
The construction, which began in 2010, is being carried out by a consortium comprising Bruneian firm Suriati Construction and Chinese state-owned construction company Xing-An-Ji Engineering.
His Excellency Zheng Xiang Lin, the Chinese ambassador to Brunei, said weather problems and technical difficulties had posed significant problems - a view supported by project manager Dean Zhao who cited "too much rain" was chiefly to blame for the hold-up. Zhao said heavy rainfall for much of the year had a "huge" impact on progress. "This project is one of the (most challenging) for us, not in terms of volume but weather conditions," he commented in an earlier interview.
Delays were also caused by the discovery of surface cracks spanning more than two kilometres from Sg Paku to Telisai, as well as abandoned oil pipes in the area, which the project manager said still has to be addressed.
However, all stakeholders remain committed to meeting the target completion date. "We have encountered many problems, but we know we have to finish this project," Zhao said.
He added that Suriati Construction and Xing-An-Ji Engineering were currently working closely with their client, the Brunei Economic Development Board, to expedite work on the Telisai-Lumut Highway project
The 18.6km dual carriageway linking Telisai and Lumut is expected to "greatly ease" traffic congestion frequently experienced by commuters travelling between Bandar Seri Begawan and Kuala Belait.--Courtesy of The Brunei Times