West Ipoh Span Expressway – WISE
Menora Tunnel Bypass Expressway also known as WISE, stretching from Kuala Kangsar to Gopeng, with total length of 64 km to be built as an alternative to North-south Expressway.
The 800 meter long Menora Tunnel construction begun in 1983, together with North-south Expressway – E1, opened to traffic in 1986 which runs underneath Keledang Range in between 794 meter Gunung Meru and 860 meter Gunung Hulu Pari.
The North-south Expressway E1, crosses Perak River at Kampung Menora, goes through Menora Tunnel underneath Keledang Range of mountains, and exits at Meru / Jelapang in Ipoh.
Due to congestion and frequent accidents especially at the stretch crossing Keledang Range. The Menora Tunnel Bypass Expressway – WISE has been brought up as a solution to alleviate congestion and to reduce accidents in general.
The proposal has received approval by Perak government since April-2022 and agreed by the cabinet in principle.
The proposed WISE will have the following features:
- 3 lanes carriageway per direction
- 4 Rest & Restaurant area with additional R&R dedicated to heavy vehicles
- 3 interchanges, at Kuala Kangsar, Siputeh and Gopeng
- 64 km in length, longer but faster than the original K. Kangsar – Ipoh route
- By-passing Menora Tunnel and the steep slopes of Keledang Range
- The gradient of less than 3% is more user friendly especially for Heavy Vehicles
With the above proposed Kuala Kangsar to Gopeng alignment, it has been suggested that
- The new expressway should be extended to Kampar and Tapah
- The reasons being another accident-prone area near-by Tempurung Cave
- Would be shorter in distance compared to the original route of the North-south Expressway, if extended to Tapah
- Furthermore, Kampar district would be able to benefit from the new expressway due to better accessibility
Proposed Menora Tunnel Bypass WISE Highway Alignment
“Immediately build the WISE highway, avoid fatal accidents in the Menora Tunnel”
– Muhamad Lokman Khairi – 02-Mar-2023 bhnews
The Perak government hopes that the construction of the West Ipoh Span Expressway (WISE) can be carried out this year
as well to prevent the fatal accidents that occur every week in the Menora Tunnel from continuing.
The approximately 60-kilometer highway connects Gopeng to Kuala Kangsar and is an alternative road for users, in addition to going through the Menora Tunnel.
Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad, said that the contractor is currently waiting for the Cabinet’s decision to obtain a concession agreement.
“They (contractors) are going through several more phases including with the Public Private Partnership Unit (UKAS) and need the approval
of the Ministry of Finance in terms of price because it involves a private financing initiative (PFI).
But of course there is a need for the Ministry of Finance to determine, set or agree to the price proposed by the contractor.
When the Central Government agrees later, we will do the appropriate process including the land acquisition work,” he said after the Customer Meet Day Friendly Program at Parit Square Area here today.
Saarani said the highway construction approval was delayed at the Central level before due to the dissolution of Parliament in October last year. The contractor has been called to give a briefing to the Perak Economic Planning Unit (UPEN), the EXCO line and the technical department involved after the first time they came to meet in February 2021. Finally the state government gave its approval.
They have dealt with the Central Government through the Ministry of Public Works to go through the appropriate process, but when Parliament was dissolved, the Cabinet could not meet for two months.
Then comes a new government, a new minister, so maybe a lot of work needs to be done,” he said.
Perak Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad
Regarding the Mesra Hari Bertu Bertu Customer Program, Saarani said, it was organized to give the surrounding residents the opportunity to meet the state leadership, thus providing solutions to complaints to the problems faced by the people.
A total of 120 heads of state and district departments together with the Menteri Besar and the EXCO line-up greeted customers.
“A total of 170 accumulated complaints were recorded throughout the day and the highest complaints were recorded at the Menteri Besar’s counter as well as the Central Perak District and Land Office,” he said.
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.
Highway to bypass Menora Tunnel approved
FMT Reporters – May 17, 2022
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.