The construction of the Pan Borneo Highway will give special concessions to wildlife in certain affected areas like national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the approach was to give the least disturbances to the animals and preserve their natural habitat.
“In this stretch, we are passing through the Samunsan Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to the proboscis monkey, clouded leopards, hornbills, langurs, gibbons, turtles and others.
“To cater to the proboscis monkey we are building a 270-metre long bridge instead of about 100 metres to allow them free access along the river banks underneath,” he said.
He was speaking to the media after inspecting the construction of the 34- kilometre long Telok Melano-Sematan Road here at a cost of RM580 million, which is the first part of the highway here on Thursday.
There would also be wildlife warden posts along the stretch in this sanctuary to deter poaching, he said.
Fadillah said the two-lane bridge construction would cause minimal impact to the mangrove forest in the area besides being equipped with non glaring lightings to protect the turtles.
On the slight delay to the construction work, he said this was not critical and due largely to the bad weather.
The Telok Melanao-Sematan Road is the very first work package under the 783.9-km long Pan Borneo Highway construction until Miri city.
It is expected to be completed in early January, 2019.