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Thursday, 15 May 2014

Options for motorists

Daily gridlock: (Clockwis e from left) The Federal Highway, the Damansara-Puchong High way and the North Klang Valley Expressway.

Daily gridlock: (Clockwis e from left) The Federal Highway, the Damansara-Puchong High way and the North Klang Valley Expressway.

ARE you a motorist who complains about paying toll only to be stuck in a traffic jam?

The good news is that motorists in the Klang Valley have a number of options to choose from to get to their destinations.

However, many tend to take the usual, well-known expressways instead of exploring the alternatives, some of which do not require paying toll.

In the first of a three-part series, StarMetro looks at the extensive road network, especially highways, criss-crossing the western part of the Klang Valley and some of the major areas where traffic bottlenecks tend to build (see map).

Expressways in the Klang Valley

Part 2 will examine major routes primarily on the eastern side, as well as some upcoming expressways.

The third and final part will provide some alternative routes for major destinations in the Klang Valley.

Federal Highway

As one of the first expressways both in the Greater Kuala Lumpur area and in Malaysia, the Federal Highway (Federal Road 2) begins from what is now the Seputeh Interchange (linking to Kuala Lumpur city centre via Jalan Syed Putra; Bukit Jalil and Puchong via Old Klang Road).

This road passes through other Klang Valley urban areas and contains several interchanges linking the highway to Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) (Motorola multi-level interchange), New Pantai Expressway (NPE, Exit 222 Kuala Lumpur-bound), Kesas and Kemuning-Shah Alam Expressway (LKSA).

While it is a truism that Klang Valley highways get jammed during rush hour, the main hotspots for this area (especially in the morning) tend to be at both tolls (cash lanes especially) and the Subang flyover exit onwards until Jalan Universiti. The situation is reversed in the evenings with central Petaling Jaya, particularly from Amcorp Mall onwards until the LDP interchange and past the Subang Jaya exit, being more jammed as motorists head home.

In the evenings, jams are common on the Kuala Lumpur-bound side as cars queue to enter Jalan Subang to head to Sungai Buloh and northwards.

Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP)

The LDP is a major traffic route for Petaling Jaya, Subang, Puchong as well as Kuala Lumpur residents, with links to Kota Damansara and the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE, via the Kepong-bound, Persiaran Surian turn-off).

Other linkages include Subang Jaya (at the Motorola interchange, Kinrara-Puchong (Jalan Puchong turn-off), up to Serdang and Putrajaya.

As part of the Kuala Lumpur Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR 2), the LDP provides a straightforward connection to Batu Caves, Gombak and Ampang/Cheras.

The Sunway toll plaza is divided into “A” (cars only; heading straight for Putrajaya and Shah Alam) and “B” (general; exits to Bukit Jalil, Kesas and Puchong Jaya as well as the “A” destinations), hence drivers need to be aware of their route approaching from Petaling Jaya.

Western Kuala Lumpur Traffic Dispersal System (Sprint)

The Sprint expressway is managed by Litrak, with the 26km route divided into three sections.

Firstly, the Penchala Link (including the Penchala Tunnel) connects from the LDP via Mont Kiara and Sri Hartamas to the Sungai Buloh-Duta Road portion of the NKVE.

Then there is the Damansara Link, which begins from Kampung Kayu Ara after the NKVE Damansara toll, and connects to the Jalan Duta-Semantan Interchange, allowing for motorists to enter Jalan Tun Razak and Bangsar.

This same link also provides access into Petaling Jaya via Jalan Datuk Abu Bakar (16/1)

In turn, the Kerinchi Link also connects the Jalan Semantan/Pusat Bandar Damansara area to the Federal Highway and the Damansara Link.

Currently, with ongoing construction work along the Damansara Link for the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit underground portion, this area is frequently jammed due to the narrowing of the carriageway for those heading to Jalan Tun Razak and Bangsar.

Traffic heading towards the NKVE is not spared either, as rainy days can cause a backlog all the way from Kampung Kayu Ara to Section 16 and even further at times.

New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE)

An alternative route for motorists travelling from Klang to Kuala Lumpur and vice versa, NKVE begins after the North Klang Straits Bypass, and branches off either to terminate at the Jalan Duta exit to Kuala Lumpur, or merging again with the main North-South Expressway (NSE).

NKVE connects to several townships including Setia Alam, Subang Jaya, Damansara and Kota Damansara.

Motorists from either direction along the NSE are also presented with a much less-congested alternative for continuing their journey, compared to heading into the expressway in Kuala Lumpur itself.

Rush hour traffic is also a concern, necessitating the opening of an extra contra-lane (direction dependent on the time of day) as the Setia Alam/Klang crowd going to Kuala Lumpur and beyond in the morning return there in the evening, making the Klang-bound lane jammed.

Currently, NKVE concessionaire Plus Bhd is conducting a fifth-lane widening project from the Damansara-Subang stretch (Klang-bound), while a fourth-lane widening project from Shah-Alam to Sungai Buloh was announced on May 5.

Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas)

In addition to the Federal Highway and NKVE, Kesas provides an alternative route to residents in Klang and Kota Kemuning.

The route, which is a collection of road networks, forms part of the MRR 2 scheme, and helps connect Klang to as far as Sri Petaling in Kuala Lumpur, with dispersal into Cheras, Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya enroute.

At the same time, the expressway is connected to other major local routes such as the LDP (just after the Sunway toll plaza), Elite (Seafield Interchange) for access to KLIA and Sepang as well as the NSE.

New Pantai Expressway (NPE)

The NPE serves as an alternative route for traffic heading west from Kuala Lumpur to Sunway and Subang Jaya, especially when the Federal Highway is congested, although the NPE is now also beginning to experience its own traffic problems, particularly for traffic heading into Bangsar South and Pantai Dalam.

Starting from Jalan Subang Utama between SS17 and SS18, the expressway connects to the LDP at PJS 8 and Federal Highway at the Motorola multi-level interchange, as well as Old Klang Road and PJ Old Town via a slip-road opposite Wisma Peters on the other side of the highway.

Duta-Ulu Klang Expressway (Duke)

As the name implies, this expressway links from the Duta exit off the NSE, allowing access to Kepong via Jalan Kuching/Jalan Ipoh, Gombak/Greenwood, Sentul, Wangsa Maju/Setiawangsa and ending in the Taman Hillview area in Ulu Klang.

The expressway is also undergoing an extension, costing almost RM1.2bil, consisting of an elevated highway with two links (called the Tun Razak and Sri Damansara links) to connect MRR 1 and 2.

This project is expected to be completed by next year.

Tags / Keywords: Travel , Transport Safety , Klang Valley , expressways , traffic connectivity


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