WITH only two years left until the completion of phase one of the East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE), the framework of the highway is slowly taking shape.
Despite being delayed initially by objections from environmental groups and people living close to the site, the project is 25% complete and the highway is expected to be ready by September 2019.
EKVE Sdn Bhd senior general manager Mohd Khalid Mohamed said the highway would stretch 24.1km, from Sungai Long in Kajang to Ukay Perdana in Ampang.
“Most of it is constructed over undulating terrain or elevated land.
“About 35% of the highway in Package 1 is made up of bridges to ensure less land is taken up and to minimise damage to the surrounding areas. We are just taking strips (of land) along the way, ” he said.
Package 1 stretches from Sungai Long to Sungai Michu, while Package 2 will continue to Ukay Perdana. Package 3 will comprise the upgrading of Jalan Ukay Perdana.
Mohd Khalid said the company would build retention ponds along the alignment as well as silt fences.
“This is to ensure that any surface water runoff from the highway is filtered before being discharged into the river,” he said, adding that the discharge would be minimum Class 2, as instructed by the Environment Department.
“Supplementary measures include stationing emergency response teams (ERT) in areas of high flood risk such as Sungai Michu and Sungai Sub in Hulu Langat.
“We are monitoring this area together with the Selangor Water Management Authority (Luas) and Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) as well as other agencies.
“Sungai Michu will be lined with concrete for 400m to reduce the risk of soil erosion,” Mohd Khalid said.
This comes after Luas has identified the construction of the EKVE and other development projects as among the contributors to water shortages in several areas in Kuala Lumpur caused by the deterioration in water quality of Sungai Langat earlier this year.
Heavy rain led to silt flowing into Sungai Langat through two tributaries, namely Sungai Sub and Sungai Michu, causing increased muddiness in the river water.
Mohd Khalid said EKVE was part of the missing link for the eastern region of the Kuala Lumpur Outer Ring Road (KLORR).
“KLORR was planned much earlier as a traffic dispersal scheme.
“For KLORR to be effective, the second phase of EKVE will also have to be completed from Ukay Perdana to the International Islamic University Malaysia in Gombak.
“We have submitted an alternative alignment to the Federal Government so that the KLORR can be completed.
“The previous alignment was rejected as it would be behind the Klang Gates Dam and the Quartz Ridge,” he explained.
The RM1.55bil EKVE will be a dual carriageway with toll plazas at five interchanges, namely Sungai Long, Bandar Mahkota Cheras, Hulu Langat, Ampang and Ukay Perdana interchanges.
Commenting on the degazettement and excision of part of the forest reserve, Mohd Khalid said it was carried out in accordance with the National Forestry Act 1985 and the forest area was replaced on a one-to-one basis.
“We bought over 120ha of land between the Ulu Langat and Ampang forest reserves so that it will be a contiguous area,” he explained.
The forest reserve is part of the Selangor State Park and was gazetted in 2005 in conjunction with its Developed State status.
In February 2014, the Selangor Forestry Department degazetted 106.65ha of the Ampang Forest Reserve for the construction of EKVE.