Highway to bypass Menora Tunnel approved
The Perak government has approved the construction of a 64km highway from Gopeng to Kuala Kangsar that will bypass the Menora Tunnel on the North-South Expressway. Perak menteri besar Saarani Mohamad said the state government approved the project in April, Bernama reported. The route would be slightly longer but it would take road users less time to travel as it avoids the hills and the project would help reduce road accidents. A new highway has been approved that will bypass the Menora Tunnel in Perak. (Bernama pic)
Last week, five university students were burned to death in their car after a collision with two trailer-lorries near Kuala Kangsar. Saarani said the company would take two years to obtain a financier and to carry out land acquisition. Saarani did not identify the firm behind the project, but checks showed that a project for the West Ipoh Span Expressway financed entirely by East Coast Road Sdn Bhd. The RM5.75 billion toll highway will be a dual three-lane carriageway with a dedicated motorcycle lane. Three interchanges, at Gopeng, Siputeh and Kuala Kangsar, and four rest and service areas will be built.
Cabinet green lights alternative expressway to bypass Menora Tunnel [NSTTV]
By Zahratulhayat Mat Arif – June 21, 2022
The proposed construction of an alternative expressway from Gopeng to Kuala Kangsar to bypass the Menora Tunnel can only materialise once the environmental, traffic and social impact studies are ready.
Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the project, involving a 64km stretch, had received the green light from the cabinet.
“The cabinet has, in principle, agreed with the proposal to construct the Gopeng-Kuala Kangsar expressway to avoid congestion at the Menora Tunnel.
“Once approved, the company needs to adhere to the precedent conditions set by the LLM (Malaysian Highway Authority) and the government.
“One of the conditions is an environmental study. The company also needs to conduct a social impact and traffic study to ensure this project is viable,” he said at a press conference after opening the Public Works Department’s Senior Officers Conference at the Casuarina Hotel @ Meru, here, today.
He added that the conditions set were crucial to ensure the project could be implemented.
“Whether this project can be implemented or not, it will only be finalised when all the studies are completed and presented. But right now we are still waiting,” he said.
On May 16, Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad said the state government supported the private sector project involving a route through the Gopeng exit to Siputeh linked to Kuala Kangsar which had also received the nod from the cabinet.
Saarani had said the project would reduce accidents at the current hotspot as the proposed route was flat without hills and could ease traffic congestion.
On the completion of the West Coast Expressway (WCE), Fadillah said land acquisition issues and change of alignment were among the reasons for the delay in construction.
For instance, a portion near Tanjung Karang in Selangor was facing issues with land acquisition.
“Land acquisition comes under the jurisdiction of the state. So, when such issues are not resolved, the project needs to be halted temporarily,” he said.
For the Tanjung Karang section, Fadillah estimated that the construction would be completed in three years.