DESPITE the temporary halt in operations at Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) construction sites around Klang and Shah Alam, the project is still on track and 12% completed.
Construction work was stopped for a while because the government requested for budget cuts in the LRT3 project. Construction for the third LRT line, measuring 37km, began in June 2017.
It will now have 20 stations (including two which are integrated with existing LRT stations) as well as five provisional stations.
The travelling time from one end to the other is estimated to take an hour. (Refer to graphic)
“We will decide later if the provisional stations are necessary and if there is demand, we will build them in the future,” said MRCB George Kent Sdn Bhd infrastructure director Mohammad Amjad Faruq Mohammad Haniff.
“The Istana Bukit Kayangan underground station along Persiaran Hishamuddin in Shah Alam is the only one which has been cancelled.”
Starting from Johan Setia, Klang, and ending in Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, the LRT3 cuts across three local council jurisdictions which are Klang Municipal Council (MPK), Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) and Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ).
It also runs across three major highways, namely Federal Highway, New Klang Valley Expressway and Grand Sepadu Highway.
The LRT3 track will also become the fourth Klang bridge, as the train will travel across Sungai Kelang, connecting the station nearby Emporium Makan to the one closest to MPK.
“We are expecting to cater to over two million riders in the western corridor of the Klang Valley.
“The four-car trains are designed to accommodate 6,210 passengers per hour per direction,” said Mohammad Amjad.
MRCB George Kent is a 50:50 joint venture company between Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd and George Kent (M) Bhd and was appointed the project’s delivery partner (PDP) in September 2015.
In October last year, the PDP model was replaced with a fixed price contract, making MRCB George Kent the main contractor.
It is tasked with all system and infrastructure works, including the design, engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning and completion of the LRT3 by 2024.
“Our initial completion date was supposed to be in August next year but it has been extended to 2024,” said Mohammad Amjad when met at his office.
Based on the tentative project timeline, construction of the infrastructure will be completed in the second quarter of 2021 while the system works testing, design and build will start in the second quarter of next year until the project’s completion.
MRCB George Kent is currently determining which stations to place park-and-ride facilities. The company plans to have 3,000 parking bays in total.
“We have 12 packages in total, split among different contractors working concurrently according to the timeline.
“Work stopped for a while previously because the government requested for changes and we had to go back to the drawing board but now it is almost complete and work at most sites have resumed,” said Mohammad Amjad.
At some sites, contractors are busy with infrastructure maintenance works to ensure roads are in good condition for motorists.
Among changes implemented due to budget cuts include the design of stations as well as downsizing six-car trains to four-car trains.
With the use of four-car trains, the station and platform need not have to be too big.
Formerly, the station’s length was 120m but now it has been reduced to 80m long. The width of the platform is now 3m.
“We also did not want to acquire too much land so the best option was to have the tracks run along the middle of the road,” he said of the elevated track.
To-date, over 500 piling works have been done at various sites, including the installation of pile caps and columns.
Quite a number of pillars have also been put up while precast structures above them are done at two yards, one in Ijok and the second in Bandar Saujana Putra.
The precast structures, once ready, will be transported at night to be mounted above the pillars at the sites.
“This method is used to minimise scaffolding and also to avoid having excessive heavy machinery on site, for the safety of motorists.
“Public safety is our utmost concern and we welcome feedback so that we can make improvements when needed,” said Mohammad Amjad.
For example, the company is in the midst of resolving the illegal U-turn issue at the T-junction of Jalan Plumbum in Shah Alam where residents voiced concerns about safety.
“We have submitted a proposal to MBSA for traffic lights to be installed at the junction so that motorists can make a proper U-turn,” he said.
MRCB George Kent is also patching up roads around its construction sites and will resurface all roads once the project is completed.
Mohammad Amjad said where possible, one lane for every lane closed would be provided during the construction.
The company will also replace lane markers when existing ones start to fade.
Wire mesh hoardings have also been installed since April last year to enhance visibility so motorists can spot oncoming vehicles.
Street lights were also replaced with brighter flood lights, especially along Jalan Langat, Klang, where traffic is heavy.