IT HAS literally been a year of bumpy rides for the people in Petaling Jaya, with the bad road condition found along most of the main roads in the city.
If it is not the pothole-riddled roads, it is the uneven and poorly patched roads along stretches such as Jalan Universiti, Jalan Gasing, Jalan Templer and the One-Way Loop (OWL).
The first thing which comes to mind is of course the underground sewage upgrading project happening around the city under the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry.
While most residents and local leaders agree that this inconvenience was unavoidable, better management of the project was expected.
For example, there are no signs at the construction site to inform motorists about the project and the duration of work being carried out at the area.
Also, poor traffic coordination by workers at the construction site poses a danger to motorists who are often unable to see oncoming traffic.
Another problem is the poor patching-up of roads.
According to Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), all the four contractors under the supervision of Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) have been told to even out the road surfaces, making them safe for road users.
Some stretches now have multiple layers of hastily patched tar while others are uneven and bumpy.
MBPJ said contractors will only resurface all roads once the whole project is completed in two years.
But why can’t the temporary patching be of good quality too, asked some local leaders and councillors who were concerned about the safety of motorists.
As a result, MBPJ issued about eight stop-work orders over the past year to the contractors who did shoddy temporary patching work. However, this action did not stop contractors from failing to comply with the guidelines set by MBPJ.
Looks like motorists here will have to brave the bumps for another two years until the project is completed.
Meanwhile, MBPJ has decided to use the mill-and-pave method for road resurfacing in all residential and main roads next year. The roads will be even and of better quality.
Currently, MBPJ only uses the mill-and-pave method for some busy main roads and the paving process for the other roads.
With this paving process, the old tar will not be dug up as the new tar will just be layered on.
This will cause the road level to be raised by a few centimeters each time the road is resurfaced.
On a separate road related matter, the controversial RM2.4bil Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) has been officially cancelled early this year.
Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali declared Kidex a no-go in February, after developers failed to meet the three stipulated conditions by the Feb 14 deadline.
The three conditions were preparing a free traffic impact assessment, social impact assessment and environmental impact assessment.
Kidex was a proposed elevated carriageway across Petaling Jaya starting from the New Klang Valley Expressway’s Damansara Exit linking to the Bukit Jalil Highway.
Meanwhile, the other controversial RM4.2bil Damansara-Shah Alam Highway (DASH) is still in a state of limbo.
Residents have yet to give the green light for some parts of the alignment and the state has requested for the Works Ministry, Malaysian Highway Authority and the developer to review it.
Azmin had asked both residents and the developer to work together on finding alternatives for the highway route.
This highway is necessary but will not go ahead until the routes are reviewed and approved by the public.
By BRENDA CH’NG