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Friday August 15, 2008
Story and photo by CHARLES FERNANDEZ
THERE is good news for motorists on the highly anticipated 44.3km Kajang-Seremban Highway (Lekas) project as a section of the highway will be opened to traffic on Merdeka Day.
While the entire stretch of the highway will be completed by 2010, motorists will be able the use the Kajang-Pajam stretch for a month for free.
Once completed, the highway which is designed to pass through Semenyih, Pajam, Mantin and Temiang, will link the Seremban Inner Ring Road.
The highway will serve as an effective traffic dispersal route for the congested Kajang and Serem-ban town centres.
The Kajang-Pajam stretch is the second opening after the Kajang-Kajang Selatan Interchange stretch was opened to traffic since March 2005.
Following the opening of this stretch, there was a standstill as the original concessionaire, Kajang-Seremban Highway Sdn Bhd (Kaseh), faced financial problems, forcing construction work to be delayed.
The project was revitalised in November 2006 after a takeover by the new concessionaire.
And while it is learnt from sources that the Kajang-Pajam stretch would be opened by the end of the month, the Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA) director-general Datuk Mohamad Razali Othman refrained from making any comments, leaving it to the Works Minister to make the announcement.
“The minister is overseas. He will make the announcement when he comes back,’’ he said through his personal assistant.
During a question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat last month, Works Minister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamad said the RM766mil highway would be completed by January next year while the stretch from Kajang South to Pajam would be opened to traffic this month.
The Dewan Rakyat was also told that there were issues pertaining to land acquisition but these issues would not affect the construction of the highway.
The Cabinet had yet to make a decision on the toll rates to be imposed but it is learnt that a closed-toll system will be adopted for the Kajang Selatan Interchange to Setul Interchange and an open toll system from the Setul Interchange to the Paroi Inter-change.
A rest and service area is provided on each side of the highway along the closed-toll section between the Semenyih Inter-change and the Pajam Inter-change.
A traffic surveillance and control system centre located at the Kajang South toll plaza, will ensure effective management of the highway.
The Lekas alignment provides an alternative route to the North-South Highway from the city centre to Seremban..
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