Aerial Photo taken on March 17, 2020 shows the CC4 section of Brunei's Temburong Bridge in Temburong District. Brunei on Tuesday inaugurated the cross-sea Temburong Bridge linking the capital Bandar Seri Begawan with the Temburong district. (Xinhua)
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Brunei on Tuesday inaugurated the cross-sea Temburong Bridge linking the capital Bandar Seri Begawan with the Temburong district.
To curb the spread of the COVID-19, Brunei has banned all residents from leaving the country and decided to open the Temburong Bridge partially built by a Chinese company.
The Brunei government said on Tuesday that the country's total cases of COVID-19 have risen to 56. With a population of about 440,000, the incidence rate has exceeded 1 in 10,000.
Temburong has been geologically isolated from the rest of Brunei which has hindered the economic growth of the district. The sea-crossing Temburong Bridge is one of the key national balanced development projects promoted by the Brunei government, and also the largest bridge construction project ever built in Brunei.
"Before, transportation and people-to-people communication between the capital and Temburong district have to pass Malaysian territory, which is not convenient and not helpful to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the Sultanate," said Jin Chunshang, manager from the China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited (CSCEC), a contractor responsible for the CC4 section of the bridge.
According to the manager, the CC4 section constructed by CSCEC since Oct. 1, 2015 spans 12 km in length including a fully prefabricated viaduct, which crosses Brunei's uninhabited forests and swamps.
The manager told Xinhua on Tuesday that the construction condition was "very harsh." To protect the environment, the CC4 section was constructed with the "fishing technology," which allows the mechanical equipment not to touch the ground and the rainforest vegetation.
"After the bridge is opened, the travel time between the two places can be cut from two hours to 15 minutes, which is of great significance to the social and economic development of Brunei," he added.
Wang Xiaolin, president of the Chinese Enterprise Association in Brunei and general manager of Bank of China Brunei Branch, said the Temburong Bridge is the largest and most influential transportation infrastructure project in Brunei, and it will become a new landmark in the country.
"The construction of CC4 section fully demonstrates the technological strength and innovation capability of the Chinese company, and has generated good economic and social results," Wang told Xinhua.
The 30-km bridge will substantially reduce travelling time between Brunei's capital and the Temburong district by bypassing Malaysia's Limbang.
It is the longest bridge in Southeast Asia followed by Malaysia's 24-km Second Penang Bridge.