TRAFFIC along the loop in Pusat Bandar Damansara is a nightmare for those accessing the central business district.
The roads in the area are often congested as they are also used by motorists travelling between Petaling Jaya, Damansara Heights, Bangsar and Kuala Lumpur city centre.
This will soon come to an end as a multi-million ringgit elevated highway project will be built from the Sprint Highway-Jalan Maarof interchange near the Pavilion Damansara Heights project to the Sprint Highway-Jalan Semantan interchange.
The three-lane elevated Jalan Damansara-Semantan Highway stretching for 1.34km will considerably improve traffic flow and provide direct connectivity to the area, benefitting thousands living and working in and around the township.
An additional eight lanes will be added internally along Jalan Batai and Jalan Johar to further ease traffic flow.
Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, who launched the project yesterday, said the project would go a long way in easing traffic congestion there.
“Presently, traffic from Petaling Jaya and Damansara Heights coming into Bangsar (Jalan Maarof) is heavy and causes a gridlock in the area.
“Once this project is completed, it will solve the traffic problem,” he said.
Project consultant, SNA Consult Sdn Bhd director Datuk Robert Ang Huck Koon likened the area to a “hangman’s loop”.
“It was like a hangman’s loop or a big roundabout; in order to go from Petaling Jaya to Kuala Lumpur, motorists have to go through the inner roads of Jalan Batai and Jalan Johar, and likewise when they come back,” he said.
Ang explained that this type of road system only favoured the development at the site and not the surrounding township.
“That is why Pusat Bandar Damansara was not doing too well previously and businesses there were dying.
“This new traffic scheme will give better connectivity and the local residents living around the area,” he said.
Tengku Adnan said there were some objections from the community during the private engagement sessions and many were not happy.
“But my advice to the people is to be patient.
“Once the project is completed, you will be happy and realise that it is good for the community,” he said.
Tengku Adnan said WCT Sdn Bhd, which was awarded the contract, will undertake the project while the construction cost will be shared by DBKL, Pavilion and UKAS (Public-Private Partnership Unit) to ensure the project through.
The scope of work includes site clearance and demolition works, earthworks, drainage works, pavement works, construction of pedestrian walkways, installation of streetlights, reinforced earth wall and upgrading of current roads.
Traffic management plans and soil investigation work have also been carried out.
The estimated cost of the project is RM211mil and is expected to be completed by June 2020.
Damansara Heights resident Mary Chew said she was looking forward to the new highway as it would ease traffic especially during peak hours.
“I think it is about time something is done about the traffic issue here as it is getting out of hand,’’ she said.
Bangsar resident K. Sivam hoped the highway would also ease congestion in Bangsar.
“We have been forced to put up with congestion for many years now and I hope it will be solved soon,’’ he said.
Medan Damansara Residents Association secretary Norainee Kamaruddin said their main concern was traffic management plan during construction.
She said the community there was inconvenienced during construction of the MRT station nearby.
“Motorists used inner residential roads to bypass the project site, so we foresee a similar problem with this project.
“We hope they (the authorities) will include us in their traffic management plans in future.
“While it seems like a good idea, we anticipate additional traffic coming into the area,’’ she said.
Bukit Damansara House Owners Association honorary treasurer Ravi Markandu agreed with Noraini that the elevated highway would bring more traffic into the township.
“Yes, they have engaged with us to get our feedback, but the development signboard is up and this shows that they are not listening,” he said.
“Bukit Damansara is being overdeveloped. What was once a low-rise commercial development in Pusat Bandar Damansara is now being redeveloped to become a Manhattan-like commercial area with skyscrapers up to 50 storeys,’’ Ravi said.