|KOTA SAMARAHAN (Jan 4): The Kota Samarahan Municipal Council (MPKS) has pledged to get traffic police to assist with congestion during peak hours along the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway.
Chairman Datuk Peter Minos said the council has repeatedly met with the Sarawak Public Works Department (JKR) and its contractors on how they can minimise congestion along the route.
“We do not shy away in knowing and solving public concerns and problems, but we still ask for one thing from the public. Please understand why because we must solve the old master traffic jam problems and now the new subsidiary jam problems being created.
“We thus appeal for the public to bear with us, especially with Sarawak JKR and its contractors, for understanding and patience,” he said in a statement today.
According to him, traffic jams would remain unresolved until the project is completed in November.
On why the installation of traffic lights along the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway is important, he said the problem of traffic congestion along the expressway, especially during peak hours, has been there for a long time.
“When I came in in 2016 as walikota Samarahan, I immediately knew and saw the bad daily traffic jam problems in Kota Samarahan, particularly at the three roundabouts from Intan to Jambatan Kuap, also at Jalan Dato Mohd Musa – traffic jams daily at peak hours.
“MPKS then had asked the Sarawak Chief Minister to help and he helped, but in solving the master traffic jams subsidiary jams are created. Simply inevitable and unavoidable,” he said.
Minos said, for him, the current situation at the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway is a classic case of new problems in trying to solve old big problems, while JKR Sarawak and its contractors are doing their best at the roundabouts.
On a positive note, he said JKR Sarawak and its contractors have given their assurance that the project will be completed by November this year.
There has been a rising number of complaints about traffic congestion along the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway due to the ongoing project to replace the roundabouts with traffic lights.
A check on The Borneo Post’s Facebook page found many road users venting their frustrations as well.
Facebook user Yoh Kon Nih questioned how road users could be patient when they are stuck on the road for three hours just to cover a distance of 3km.
Another Facebook user named Charles Bong said it is easy to tell people to be patient without any actual traffic control plan during the construction period.
“Since there is no traffic controller, the jam has become worse not only due to the amount of traffic but also due to the deadlock (sic), especially at certain junctions,” he said.
Fellow Facebook user Alwyn Law suggested the contractor should work at night during off peak hours to prevent gridlock.