KUALA LUMPUR: Morning traffic in the city and Petaling Jaya was thrown into chaos following a heavy downpour since 4am.
It was in stark contrast to the week-long Hari Raya holiday break, which saw generally smooth traffic as most residents were away on leave in their hometowns.
Yesterday, thousands of motorists were stranded for hours and were late for work and meetings. Many events had to be delayed or cancelled as a result.
The worst affected area was Jalan Tun Razak, near the National Heart Institute and Wisma Bernama, where flash floods were reported.
According to morning radio traffic reports, besides the major city roads, the Federal Highway, Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP), New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) and Sprint Highway saw traffic come to a crawl.
Other roads that saw bumper-to-bumper crawls were Jalan Kepong, Jalan Sungai Buloh and Jalan Sungai Besi.
The congestion at LDP, NKVE, Jalan Sungai Buloh and Jalan Kepong was also attributed to the recent landslide at NKVE between Bukit Lanjan and Kota Damansara interchanges.
The situation improved by noon but many offices reported staff applying for emergency leave.
Lingkaran Transkota Bhd (Litrak) said that besides the recent collapse of the rocky slope near Bukit Lanjan on the NKVE, constant downpours in and around the city had precipitated massive traffic snarls along other main thoroughfares heading into and out of Kuala Lumpur.
Litrak general manager (operations) Sazally Saidi said traffic had increased along LDP and the Sprint Highway due to the partial closure of the NKVE.
He said initial steps taken with traffic police had involved the posting of road signs alerting motorists of traffic diversions and alternative routes at various locations near Sungai Penchala as well as Jalan Duta.
“Litrak also made use of its variable message system to alert motorists to road and traffic conditions and provide general information.
“Our toll plazas have also been instructed to keep all lanes open to traffic 24 hours a day,” he added.
Sazally said Litrak was also prepared to set up manual toll-collection lanes at its plazas if necessary.
He said Litrak had also increased the number of patrols on its highways.