Anger over road project delays

Sections 17 and 12 residents are questioning why the widening of Jalan Universiti has not been completed despite work being carried out for a year.

THERE is no end in sight to a road widening project along Jalan Universiti, Petaling Jaya opposite a private hospital.

This project remains ongoing for over a year now.

Residents from nearby neighbourhoods say it has caused them much hassle to drive through the stretch of road.

They claim that complaints to Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) have fallen on deaf ears.

A Section 17 resident, TS Lim said two lanes had been narrowed near the stretch of road leading to the traffic lights, leaving motorists with no space to manoeuvre.

“One day, I saw an ambulance stuck on this stretch of road because the other cars did not have space to move aside and allow for it to pass,” she told StarMetro.

When no answer was forthcoming following many complaints to MBPJ, Lim decided to call the council’s infrastructure department personally.

An officer told her that the road widening was done by a developer of a project in Section 13 and that she should contact the project manager instead.

“MBPJ had earlier failed to take action after I complained about sand and debris being thrown down from the top of a building under construction, and now the city council wants me to contact a project manager.

“This is unacceptable.

“There is no signboard to indicate the completion date of the project,” she said.

She added that there were also building materials dumped at the children’s playground nearby.

Lim said hoarding put up around another construction project at a connecting road near SS2 Mall leading to Jalan Harapan, obstructed visibility for motorists.

“I have made multiple complaints to MBPJ and the area councillor.

“It looks like the city council has not instructed the developer to remove the hoarding or put up a mirror or signage to warn motorists,” she said.

Section 12 resident David Foo said all development work, including storage, parking, unloading and crane work must be done within the parameters of a project site.

“If public space is required, it simply means that the development is too massive for the site,” he opined.

MBPJ, he said, should also monitor the hoardings around the project site and the interlocking pavers at their entrances to ensure standards were complied with and did not pose a danger to the public.

Another complainant, who lives in the flats nearby and declined to be named, said the trees that were felled for the road project acted as buffers against noise as well as dust barriers along Jalan Universiti.

“The sound from the traffic is very loud now.

"There is dust everywhere in our home and closing the doors and windows is not an option because I get claustrophobic," she said.

The manager of the road widening project, who declined to be named, told StarMetro that the delays were due to several hiccups.

“There were ongoing projects to replace old power cables and water pipes, which had to take place before the road could be widened,” he said, highlighting that the cables and pipes were over 30 years old.

He said there were further delays when some workers in the roadworks tested positive for Covid-19.

The project, he noted, could have been completed sooner if not for the lockdown.

In a statement, MBPJ said excavation work to remove and replace water pipes started on April 1 and was completed on May 11.

“From May 11 until 31, the contractor prepared for the road to be paved as contained in the infrastructure plan approval, namely the work of traffic lights, road kerb and sub-base.

“The works were expected to be completed on June 1 and paving work was scheduled for the first week of June,” the statement read.

However, due to the implementation of the lockdown from June 1 until June 28, work could not be carried out according to the original schedule.

“Although the contractor had obtained approval from the International Trade and Industry Ministry on June 8, the suppliers of premix, crusher run and sand bedding could not deliver,” it said.

MBPJ added that according to the original plan, the rest of the roadworks was expected to be completed about two weeks after the materials were obtained.

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