HEAVY vehicles exceeding 2.6m and five tonnes are now prohibited from using Solok Perak in Penang from tomorrow until March 27.
This is to ensure repair works could be carried out safely by the Drainage and Irrigation Department underneath the road.
State Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said underneath the road was the Sungai Jelutong diversion drain.
“The drain, measuring 8.2m wide and 2.5m to 4.8m deep, was built in 1974 to divert part of Sungai Jelutong away from Sungai Pinang and into the sea.
“This move was taken to resolve the flooding problems in Jalan Sungai Pinang.
“In a recent inspection, it was identified that the drain structures such as the wall and floor need to be strengthened and repaired immediately to prevent any collapse,” he said yesterday.
Chow said the immediate repair works would cost RM492,000 and the state government was also working on a long-term solution.
“The drain is constructed to withstand vehicles up to five tonnes.
“However, today we find that vehicles with heavy load have been using the road.
“In view of public safety during the repair works, vehicles weighing more than five tonnes are barred.
“Other vehicles on the other hand are allowed to use it,” he said.
Penang Municipal Council engineer Zainuddin Mohamad Shariff said notice boards prohibiting heavy vehicles would be placed along the roads leading to Solok Perak.
“A cross bar would also be installed, barring vehicles above 2.6m. Due to the restriction, Rapid Penang buses 301, 302, 303, 401 and 11 also cannot use Solok Perak.
“Therefore, we will set up a temporary bus-stop along Jalan Lenggong for commuters, about 200m away from the current bus-stop in Jalan Jelutong.
“A notice would be placed at the Jalan Jelutong bus-stop informing commuters of the change,” he said.