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Yee: Reschedule repair works to alleviate jams
MetroKL (10 Aug 2004)

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: AN ill-planned closure of an overpass on the Middle Ring Road 2 stretch between the Forestry Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) and Taman Bukit Maluri interchanges in Kepong caught thousands of motorists unaware over the weekend when they were stuck in a traffic jam for hours.

The overpass near the Desa Complex will be closed for three months for repair works to be carried out on some beams, which had shown signs of cracks, while the road under the flyover will remain open.

Previously, only heavy vehicles weighing four tonnes and above were barred from using the overpass.

Motorists were frustrated when they found themselves stuck in a bumper-to-bumper crawl from Batu Caves to the Jalan Kepong interchange for more than an hour.

Many Sungai Buloh-bound vehicles jumped queue by using the emergency lane only to find that all the lanes of the flyover near the FRIM interchange were closed and that they had to be diverted to the road under the flyover.

Although policemen were directing traffic at the Desa Jaya and Taman Ehsan junctions under the flyover, there were no signboards erected near the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) and Batu Caves interchanges to inform the public of the closure and alternative routes.

All the signboards stated was that vehicles were required to keep left along the stretch.

On Sunday, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu announced that the flyover would be closed for three months to ensure road users’ safety.

Sulaiman Zakaria, who was stuck in the congestion for about an hour, said he did not come across the announcement on the closure.

When informed of the closure, he said in frustration: "Mati-lah itu macam (die-lah like this)!"

On Monday, traffic along the stretch slightly improved after more signboards informing the public of the road closure were erected along the Federal Route 54 and the roads near Batu Caves.

However, an increase in traffic volume was witnessed on the LDP, New Klang Valley Expressway (NPE) and Jalan Kuching because traffic from Sungai Buloh and Batu Caves used the alternative routes to avoid the congestion along the stretch.

Kepong MCA public service and government affairs bureau chairman Yee Poh Ping said the Public Works Department (JKR) seemed to have not learned from its mistake after the same thing happened two months ago when the department barred heavy vehicles from using the overpass without prior notice.

"Why can’t they learn from their mistake and have proper planning before they close the overpass?" he said.

In view of forthcoming traffic woes during peak hours, Yee appealed to Samy Vellu to consider rescheduling the repair works at night and closing only one lane on both sides of the overpass to reduce traffic congestion.

"We foresee a terrible congestion. Under the bridge, traffic will be coming from all directions and passing through four sets of traffic lights.

"It will definitely make it difficult for residents from Desa Jaya, Taman Ehsan, Taman Indah Perdana and Taman Kepong to come out from their areas," he said.

He asked why the department had yet to announce the cause of the cracks after two months and which party should be responsible for the additional cost of repair works.

The 1.6km overpass is part of the missing link, which is the final stretch of MRR2.

The RM238.8mil Package 11 also includes an elevated road bypassing Taman Indah Perdana, a flyover from Federal Route 54 to the Package 11 route and another flyover linking the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) to the Package 11 route.

The package, which started on May 27, 1999 and scheduled for completion on May 26, 2001. However, it was only finished in June 2002.The Federal Government project was contracted to Sukmim-Bumihiway (M) Sdn Bhd.

Copyright 1995-2004, Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad. 10894-D.

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