Posted on 03 Jan 2023
Source of News: The Borneo Post

KUCHING (Jan 3): Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen has urged Works Minister Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi to prioritise the progress of the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway traffic light project.

He said Nanta should also look into the traffic management during the implementation of the project which has of late caused massive traffic congestions in the area.

“Due to the poor road closure and rerouting planning of routes in the vicinity of the construction site, this has resulted in unbearable traffic jams for commuters along the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway.

“We have received complaints from road users on the congestion including one where a driver took a shocking three hours to reach Hui Sing from Uni Garden in Samarahan. That is a journey one takes from Kuching to Sri Aman,” he said in a statement.

Chong, who is Stampin MP, visited the construction site of the project with Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii yesterday.

He said the traffic light project, which started back in October 2020, was initially stalled due to “poor selection of contractors”.

“Now that a new contractor has been appointed, it was announced by the Public Works Department (JKR) that the project will take at least up to November this year to complete.

“A project taking more than three years to convert roundabouts into traffic light intersections is definitely unacceptable.

“More importantly, tens of thousands of road users are put to great inconvenience and time costs for the delay,” he stressed.

He pointed out that had the government been more responsible in their selection of the contractor in the first place, this project would have been completed a long time ago and therefore road users would not be caught in traffic jams everyday especially during weekdays.

“As we observed today, no work was carried out due to the New Year holiday.

“In fact, public holidays and nights would have been the best times to carry out such projects as there will be less traffic flow during those times. But to our surprise, no work was done in the last two days.

“It seems that both the government and contractor have not attached great urgency to complete the project as soon as possible,” he said.

Chong said he will be calling for a meet-up with the Ministry of Works and the relevant contractor to discuss ways to speed up the project and ease the traffic jam issues soon.

“Since we have a Sarawakian as our Minister of Works, more emphasis and attention ought to be given by the minister on this project.

“There should be proper studies and sufficient diversion lanes set aside before the Works Department gives the order to close the roads,” he said.

He added that more traffic police should be deployed to help manage traffic in the area during peak hours.

The Borneo Post

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