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West Ipoh Span Expressway construction gets go-ahead, says Perak MB

ILI AQILAH | The Star 14-Dec-2023

The Federal Government has given the green light for the West Ipoh Span Expressway (WISE) construction.

Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad said the approval was given at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday (Dec 13).

He said that the project will be developed with the concession company through a private financial initiative (PFI).

“WISE will be complementary to the stretch of highways in Perak that often face severe congestion, especially the route near the Menora Tunnel, Kuala Kangsar,” he told reporters after attending the Perak Economic Outlook at the state secretariat building here Thursday (Dec 14).

On Sept 16, Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA) chairman Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias said the construction of WISE that will connect Gopeng and Kuala Kangsar along a 60km route is in the final stages of negotiation and is expected to be finalised in December at the latest.

Saarani said at the moment, road users have no option but to either use the old Chemor-Sungai Siput road or the North-South Expressway to get to Kuala Kangsar.

“If there happens to be an accident at the tunnel or the old road, people will be stuck as there are no other options,” he said.

“But with WISE, road users can take the route directly from Kuala Kangsar to Gopeng or those from the north can exit from Changkat Jering and use the West Coast Expressway (WCE),” added Saarani.

In March 2021, Saarani had said that the state received a proposal from a private construction company to build an alternative expressway to Kuala Kangsar.

He added that the company proposed that the expressway be built from Gopeng to Kuala Kangsar to avoid the Menora Tunnel and would be able to divert traffic during peak season or when there was an accident near the tunnel.