BY KULDEEP S. JESSY
IPOH: Part of the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) in Kuala Lumpur has been ordered closed after experts found it to be a “threat to public safety.”
Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu acknowledged yesterday that the closure was expected to cause havoc to traffic as it was in an area with the highest traffic flow along the highway.
Structural problems have surfaced on a 1.7km flyover between the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) interchange and the Taman Bukit Maluri interchange.
Movements in the pillars and beams of the flyover were first detected two months ago, Samy Vellu said.
He said if repairs were not carried out immediately it could cost serious problems including loss of lives.
“It has come to a point where we have to stop traffic on the elevated highway for the simple reason that when something is a threat to the public, we have to stop it.
“I have directed the Public Works Department (PWD) to close the affected stretch of the highway from this morning (Sunday) and I am signing (a document) to officially close it tomorrow (today) as I feel that traffic should not be allowed on it any more,” he said.
“I request the public to bear with us because we do not want any accidents to happen,” he said when launching a book here.
In June, it was reported that heavy vehicles weighing four tons and above were barred from using the flyover for six months.
“We tried and allowed light vehicles to use it all this while and found that there are some movements here and there,” Samy Vellu said yesterday.
A consultant from Monash University and another from Germany had studied the movements and they warranted further studies, including repairs to be carried out on the present pillars and beams, he said.
The flyover is more popularly known as the “missing link” which is the final stretch of the MRR2.
Opened in 2002, it is part of Package 11 of the MRR2 which covers a 4km stretch and cost RM238.8mil to build.
Samy Vellu said repairs on the flyover would take about three months and the cost would be decided later.
Two lanes from both directions under the flyover, however, would continue to be open to all vehicles, he said.
He advised motorists to use alternative routes to avoid getting trapped in traffic jams.
He said he has also directed the PWD to put up three signboards to inform motorists of the closure.
The signboards will be placed in each direction heading towards the flyover, namely from Selayang, Gombak, Kuala Lumpur and Sungai Buloh.
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