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Wednesday October 22, 2008
By CHARLES FERNANDEZ
THE 26km KL-Putrajaya Highway, which was opened last December and renamed as Maju Expressway (MEX) six months later, is confusing many motorists.
For regular highway users, the name change is no issue, but first-time users find themselves driving in circles on this route.
Despite the name change, signboards for KL-Putrajaya Highway are prominently displayed along major routes leading to MEX, while more vehicles are using the expressway, especially limousines and taxis.
The expressway provides links between MRR1 and MRR2 and highways such as Besraya, KL-Seremban, New Pantai Expressway and Kesas.
It offers road users a shorter and more direct route to the federal administrative capital of Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and is easily accessible from the city centre.
When opened to traffic, motorists heading for the highway from Putrajaya or the Dengkil-Puchong highway had to drive slowly to look for the access to MEX or risk missing it.
This was because there were enough access and exit signboards to and from the highway at four interchanges - Kampung Pandan, Salak South, Kuchai Lama and Bukit Jalil - but the access sign at the Putrajaya link was missing.
“Now, the problem is different. The name change is causing confusion and the highway
operators have not done anything to rectify the problem,’’ a motorist said.
He said even radio deejays who mentioned MEX as the former KL-Putrajaya Highway in their daily traffic updates were no longer doing so as they assumed motorists would be used to it by now.
“Local travellers and tourists get wrong information on the directions and end up at wrong destinations.
“I heard one man telling a motorist heading to KL from the LCCT to take the MEX by following the directional signboard through Dengkil. The poor guy would have ended up nowhere if I had not offered to help,’’ said motorist Munip Abdul Razak from Dengkil.
Munip said that first-time visitors to Putrajaya and Cyberjaya would be lost unless the relevant authorities installed proper signboards pointing to MEX.
Managed by Konsortium Lapangan Terjaya Sdn Bhd, the expressway was completed on Dec 5 with toll plazas at Salak South and Putrajaya.
The Putrajaya, Kampung Pandan, Salak South, Kuchai Lama and Bukit Jalil interchanges provide access to the Golden Triangle, Damansara, Jalan Duta, Old Klang Road, Federal Highway, Sungai Besi, Sri Petaling and Bangi, easing congestion on these routes.
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