IPOH: The West Coast Expressway (WCE) project in Perak will enter its final stage of completion.
WCE Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Neoh Soon Hiong (pic) said an announcement would be made on May 20 over the status of the three interchanges of the WCE project.
"In terms of the project, the three packages are about 94% to 95% complete," he said, adding they were working hard to complete it before Hari Raya.
"The last part of the project depends on some agencies - to get through federal gazettes, the speed limit gazette and safety compliances," he told a press conference held by Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu here Thursday (May 9).
"Without these, we cannot open to the public. That is the last phase and we will make an announcement about it on May 20," he said.
Malaysian Highway Authority director-general Datuk Aziz Abdullah was reported to have said that there could be a postponement in the opening of the four interchanges along the WCE – three in Perak and one in Selangor.
The three packages in Perak cover Hutan Melintang to Teluk Intan, Lekir to Changkat Chermin and Changkat Chermin to Beruas.
The WCE spans 233km from Banting, Selangor to Taiping, Perak.
It is linked to the North-South Expressway (NSE), North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE) and Shah Alam Expressway.
Neoh said heavy vehicle operators would benefit from the WCE.
"The alignment of the WCE is primarily to develop a port-to-port route between Penang Port and Port Klang.
"WCE is on a flat terrain while the NSE goes through mountainous areas, where the vehicle operating and petrol costs will be higher," he said.
Ahmad Faizal said the state government has set up a committee to maximise the economic development at areas along the WCE in Perak.
He said the committee was chaired by him and comprises representatives from related agencies with WCE Sdn Bhd as advisor.
"We have discussed the economic spillover effect along the highway and we've agreed to focus more on Bagan Datuk, which is underdeveloped," he said.