New $139 million RIPAS Bridge Boon To Business & Commuters

New bridge a boon to business, commuters

October 16, 2017

| Rokiah Mahmud |

THE newly-opened Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha Bridge is expected to generate multiple spinoffs to bolster businesses in Brunei Darussalam besides easing commu-tation to the capital from Mukim Lumapas.

Till now the commuters had to travel at least 30 kilometres either via Jalan Bengkurong-Masin to Jalan Tutong – or take alternative routes to reach their workplaces or send their children to school. During peak hours, the travelling time can take at least 40 minutes to one hour.

The 750-metre long new bridge, constructed at a cost of B$139 million, reduces travelling time and also offers vast socio-economic development in the surrounding areas with better transportation and accessibility.

Haji Abu Bakar bin Mansor, Penghulu of Mukim Lumapas and a former Legislative Council member said that the completion of the bridge was one of the most awaited projects by many, especially the residents of Mukim Lumapas and its surrounding areas. The penghulu told the Bulletin that during the trial opening of the bridge, he could drive to the capital in 15 to 17 minutes.

“We should thank the Government 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 for building this mega project that will surely benefit the people as well as the country in the long term,” Haji Abu Bakar said.

One of significant impacts of the opening of the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha Bridge is on real estate development. Already, land prices have increased three-fold. Many businesses have shown interest in further developing the land in Mukim Lumapas. They include industries, warehouses, housing settlements, supermarkets, hardware companies, restaurants and workshops.

“This would generate income not only for the residents in the area but also the small and medium enterprises that would be able to promote and expand their products to another level,” he said.

“In the years to come, a lot of projects will be carried out in the area. This will create more opportunities for the people. Tourism industry will be booming here as we can offer nature sight-seeing, start a herbal park in Kampong Putat and arrange adventure activities at Bukit Saeh,” he added.

“However, one of our main concerns is to maintain the cleanliness of the surroundings as well as the bridge. We should introduce a proper wastage management system to further beautify the Mukim Lumapas surroundings. One also needs to be reminded to always keep the bridge clean and tidy,” he said.

Meanwhile, Haji Jumat bin Akim, Village Head of Kampong Putat who is also a former Legislative Council member, expressed gratitude to the authorities for the construction of the bridge.

“Before the construction of the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha Bridge, Mukim Lumapas was considered as a remote area, far from the capital. Now we can see a lot of commercial activities happening in the area with more shops and residential areas opening up. In five years, Mukim Lumapas will have a different image,” he added.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin


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