An expressway many motorists prefer to avoid


  • Metro News
  • Thursday, 16 May 2019

The public wants a motorcycle lane on the expressway for safety reasons. — Photos: SAM THAM/The Star

THE 17.7km Pulau Indah Expressway is a dangerous stretch where many accidents have taken place.

There have been more than 2,300 accidents along that road since 2017, with 26 deaths.

Deplorable road conditions and aggressive driving are the main reasons for the expressway’s notoriety.

South Klang OCPD Assistant Commissioner Shamsul Amar Ramli attributed the hundreds of accidents there to bad visibility due to rain, unsafe road conditions, drivers not adhering to the speed limit and non-functioning street lights along certain stretches.

“In some cases, trailer drivers who spend hours on the road are exhausted and tend to get into accidents. There are also aggressive drivers.

“The (bad) road conditions are also the cause of accidents and this needs to be addressed.

Aggressive drivers at the bend of the road and potholes contribute to accidents on the expressway.
Aggressive drivers at the bend of the road and potholes contribute to accidents on the expressway.  

 

“On our side, the police carry out traffic enforcement to curb aggressive driving and speedsters, and we want to remind all motorists to exercise caution while on the Pulau Indah Expressway,” he said.

ACP Shamsul said about 300 summonses were issued for various traffic offences from January to April this year.

An estimated 50,000 vehicles plying this route daily mostly comprise people living on Pulau Indah where the Selat Lumut Bridge connects mainland Port Klang to the island.

“The most dangerous stretch is after the expressway, parallel to Muhibbah Marine Engineering, heading towards Westport, where there is a sharp bend.

“Many accidents have occurred here and the street lights have been out for some time,” he said.

ACP Shamsul said he had proposed several times at the Klang Municipal Council full board meetings to have a motorcycle lane on the expressway.

Opened in 1995, the four-lane Pulau Indah Expressway connects Pandamaran via the six-lane Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas) to Westport on Pulau Indah.

Motorists use this route to get to Westport, Port Klang Free Trade Zone and the Boustead Cruise Centre on Pulau Indah.

 

Union of Employees of Port Ancillaries Services Suppliers secretary A. Balasubramaniam said there have been many road deaths on the expressway.

“Based on my observation, this is due to aggressive driving, potholes, and pitch-dark conditions for a few kilometres,” he said.

“Even after patching up the potholes, they reappear and it’s an accident waiting to happen.

“The Public Works Department (JKR) must do resurfacing work to improve the road.”

Balasubramanian added that the Federal Government must allocate funds to improve the expressway that sees hundreds of people from the B40 group travelling to Pulau Indah for work.

“A solution to the problem is long overdue. We hope the Works Minister will visit this expressway soon to understand the dangerous situation the workers face daily.”

 

Balasubramaniam says there have been many road accident-related deaths on Pulau Indah Expressway.
Balasubramaniam says there have been many road accident-related deaths on Pulau Indah Expressway.  

 

Malaysian Trades Union Congress, Safety, Occupational Health and Environmental Bureau chairman Matkar Siwang urged the Federal Government to widen the expressway into six lanes to cope with the traffic congestion.

“We want a motorcycle lane because it is dangerous for motorcyclists to share a lane with huge trailers and lorries.”

Matkar added that driving on the expressway was unnerving because of the bad road conditions.

“A risk-mapping exercise should be done to identify dangerous spots in an effort to reduce the number of accidents there.” Klang JKR district engineer Syaharidanisman Mohd Johanis said the expressway is being upgraded and involves metre-deep repairs.

“Roadworks are being done in stages. This is under Phase Two of the Works Ministry’s project that began on April 13 and will be completed by April 12, 2021, at a cost of around RM300mil.”

Syaharidanisman said due to the nature of the soil, which is marine clay, multiple layers need to be strengthened for better drainage and even distribution of vehicle weight.

“It involves a lot of work and all is going on as planned.”

He said the problems of potholes and non-functioning street lights would be addressed, and added that JKR was also widening the expressway although the number of lanes would remain the same.


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