Brunei Darussalam has opened the new 30-kilometer Temburong Bridge, the longest bridge in Southeast Asia. The bridge links the country’s Brunei-Muara and Temburong districts, which will enable commuters to travel across the country without passing through Malaysia.
The bridge is a flagship priority infrastructure project under BIMP-EAGA, and comprises a key component of the West Borneo Economic Corridor, which also includes West Kalimantan in Indonesia, and Sarawak and Sabah in Malaysia.
Brunei is divided into two areas by the Malaysian state of Sarawak. Before the bridge was opened, commuters had to pass through four immigration points along the previous route, which was often congested.
The Temburong Bridge and causeway link the two territories of Brunei, reducing travel time from 2 hours to less than 30 minutes.
The government decided to open the bridge ahead of schedule as part of its measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Work on the operation center, CCTV, and electric cables are expected to be completed by the end of April.
The bridge is open every day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. At this time only Brunei-registered private vehicles (Classes 1, 3, 4 and 6) may currently avail of its use. Commercial vehicles are required to obtain a permit.
The bridge was opened a day after COVID-19-related travel restrictions were imposed in the country on Monday, 16 March. The government later called on commuters to use the bridge only for essential travel. Meanwhile, foreign-registered commercial vehicles are advised to continue using the designated ASEAN Highway 150 route.