KOTA TINGGI – The government has, in principle, approved the upgrading works of the 26-kilometre stretch along the Senai-Desaru Expressway (SDE) here.
Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the approval involved upgrading works on the stretch from two to four lanes to provide comfort to road users.
“Tender for the project is expected to be carried out next year, but the cost is yet to be ascertained until the final survey and design are completed,” he told reporters after officiating a new road connecting FT092 alignment in Bandar Penawar to the Recruit Training Centre (Pularek) in Sungai Rengit here today.
He said the SDE was expected to increase the economic activity of the people especially in Pengerang and Desaru areas once the upgrading works is completed.
Commenting on the new road, Fadillah said he was satisfied even though the project has been delayed for about a year.
The construction of the new road commenced on March 18, 2014, and initially scheduled to be completed early last year, but there was a delay due to a number of problems including the acquisition of the lands from the affected residents and changes in design, he said.
“Subsequently, the contractor was fined RM12 million for the delay and they managed to complete the construction on Dec 6,” he said.
However, he said, several improvements needed to be made including reviewing the construction of several roundabouts as there were heavy vehicles still passing through this area that affected the traffic flow as reported by Petronas.
“So, I have suggested that we (Public Works Department) replace it with a large intersection using a traffic light system as this is more efficient in handling congestion,” he said.
The new road was to replace the roads that were closed due to the Pengerang Deepwater Terminal operations, and it would also save road users 40 minutes on the journey between Tanjung Pengelih and Rengit, from 60 minutes to only 20 minutes.
Costing RM280 million, the new dual carriageway road also included two bridges across the Sungai Lepau and Sungai Pinang and two roundabouts. – BERNAMA