PEDESTRIANS are forced to jaywalk across the busy Tebrau Highway in Johor Baru since a pedestrian bridge has been cordoned off by the local council.
A Taman Sri Tebrau resident who only wanted to be known as Tan, said the pedestrian bridge in front of Crystal Crown Hotel had been in a bad condition for a while, with some parts of its roof falling off.
“The steps and railings were quite rusty. I felt unsafe using the bridge.
“After the local council blocked the entrance to the bridge recently, I have no choice but to cross the busy highway despite it being dangerous to do so due to my age and bad eyesight, said the 72-year-old.
Another pedestrian Mohd Jonny Sudir, 46, hopes that the bridge will be repaired and reopened to the public as soon as possible.
“After the bridge was cordoned off, it takes me about 20 minutes every morning walking about 2km to the nearest pedestrian bridge to safely cross the road.
“However, not many are willing to go the extra distance, as I often see people waiting for the traffic light to turn red before running across on the road,” he added.
Stulang assemblyman Andrew Chen Kah Eng, who organised a press conference with Johor Baru MP Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir, said he had received numerous public complaints about the bridge in the past two years.
“Besides being a busy commercial and residential area, this is also a tourist hotspot as it is near malls, hotels and popular eateries.
“I have brought the matter to the attention of Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) in June, and was informed that the bridge was under the Public Works Department’s jurisdiction.”
The pedestrian bridge was built by a company out of goodwill so that a billboard could be erected, Chen said, adding that the relevant authorities need to resolve the issue soon before an accident happens.
MBJB said the bridge was cordoned off with metal bars and yellow tape on Aug 18 after the city council’s safety committee meeting, chaired by Johor Baru mayor Datuk Noorazam Osman, deemed it unsafe for use.
State public works, transportation and infrastructure committee chairman Mohamad Fazli Mohamad Salleh said he would look into the matter.