Sunday, January 19

Four more flyovers for KK – PWD

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KOTA KINABALU: The State Public Works Department (PWD) has proposed six flyovers for the state capital as measures to ease traffic congestion.

According to its deputy director Haji Amrullah Kamal, the Karamunsing and Petagas flyovers have been built, so next on the list are the ones at Bukit Padang and Mile 5, Inanam.

Reiterating state JKR director Datuk John Anthony’s announcement last week, Amrullah disclosed that the remaining two flyovers would be located at the Lido traffic lights and the Penampang bypass traffic lights.

Speaking to reporters after officiating at the “JKR Sabah Wayleave Management’ dialogue yesterday, Amrullah said that PWD was also considering upgrading the six kilometer road from the Inanam Mile 5 traffic lights all the way to the KKIA into three lanes.

This is because the road is supposed to be a short cut to the airport but is congested most of the time, he lamented.

“We want to ensure that this road is passable all the time. The cost for the two new flyovers and road widening project is expected to be more than RM200 million,” he said, adding that the projects were supposed to have been approved and were expected to commence after the funding was received.

“If we have extra funding, we may consider a flyover at Foh Sang,” he said and expressed hope for the Works Minister and Deputy Minister to be able to attend the state PWD’s dialogue on traffic congestion in the central business district scheduled for July 23.

This way, they would be able to better understand the issue and the urgent need to resolve the traffic congestion in the state capital, he said.

Last week, John, during the PWD Road Day press conference, announced that three more flyovers would be built to help reduce traffic congestion plaguing three road junctions in the city.

He said that inefficiency of the traffic lights system in the city is among the main causes of traffic jam.

All traffic merge at junctions and coupled with an inefficient traffic management system, the whole road system suffers major congestion as a consequence, he said.

He said the PWD would be looking at three junctions, namely the junction at Batu 5 Inanam, the junction in Bukit Padang and the Jalan Lintas-Penampang junction.

PWD believed that an immediate solution to these problems would be to build flyovers like the ones in Kepayan near the airport and Karamunsing, he said.

Meanwhile on the wayleave management dialogue, Amrullah said that it was the brainchild of John who wanted the public and stakeholders to have a better understanding and awareness of the matter.

The PWD director wanted an outreach programme and this is part of six dialogue topics to be discussed, namely Road Safety on Temporary Work Zone, Wayleave Management, Material for Road Construction, Traffic Congestion Problem in Urban Areas, Best Practice of Road Planning, Design, Construction and Maintenance and Overloading on PWD Road Network, Amrullah disclosed.

He said that the participants would come from various sectors such as road planners, consultants, contractors, road material suppliers, developers, road users like members of the East Malaysia Planters Association (EMPA), government agencies and interested members of the public.

“We want the public to be aware that excavation works along PWD roads requires an approved wayleave. So if they come across any such activity which they suspect is being done without the approval, they can SMS the information to 088-244333.

“PWD will immediately send a team to check if the contractor has wayleave or not. We will find out what they want to do, how they will implement it and how their project will affect the public. If it does not affect the public, we will allow them to carry out their work,” he stressed.

He also said that it was important for developers to know the proper way to connect their road to the main road in order not to inconvenience other road users.

“So we are here to see that the other road users are not being deprived of the road when the development is connected. We work in tandem with whoever the stake holders are,” he said.

Amrullah also expressed hope that PWD, would, one day in the future be empowered with the authority to issue immediate summons on those who break their law especially in the aspect of vehicle overloading as this action damages the roads.

For now, they rely on the Road and Transport Department (RTD) or the police to issue the necessary summonses.

“For illegal connection to PWD roads, we will close the roads but sometimes that action is of course too harsh. When we close, they will challenge us and when they do we have to go to the court,” he said.