THE Penang government will consider allowing public access to the road leading up to the Air Itam Dam after the loose boulders and trees along a stretch of the road hit by a landslide last October are removed.
State Works, Transportation and Utilities Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng said a hoarding would also need to be constructed before an engineer could deem the stretch safe for the public.
“If they are not removed, then the loose boulders might crush the hoarding. When the engineer says that it is safe, then we can consider opening up the road to the public,” he said when contacted on Monday.
Lim was, however, not able to give a time frame on when the boulders and trees could be removed and the hoarding put up.
For the long-term solution, he said Kek Lok Si Temple had appointed a geo-technical consultant to come up with a design for the earthworks to strengthen the hillslope which could be submitted anytime soon.
He said he had seen the preliminary design last week after visiting the site along with representatives from Kek Lok Si temple, the Public Works Department and Penang Water Supply Corporation.
“About two months would be needed for approval after their proposal is submitted. Once the proposal is approved by the Penang Island City Council, then the earthworks can begin,” Lim said.
He explained that the land where the affected hillslope is located belonged to Kek Lok Si.
The landslide had occurred at two sections of a 30m stretch of the hilly road leading to the dam following heavy rain on Oct 29.
A 350m stretch of the road leading to the dam has been closed to the public since then.