PETALING JAYA: The public will be able to give views on the exact alignment of the revised portion of the 640km East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) by end of the year.
In a statement, project owner Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) said a three-month public inspection exercise will be held to gather feedback on the alignment so that the design can be fine-tuned.
This public display exercise is a statutory requirement under the Land Public Transport Act 2010, and MRL would soon submit the conditional ECRL Railway Scheme to the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) for consideration.
The statement follows the relaunch of the ECRL Project at Terengganu’s Dungun tunnel by Transport Minister Anthony Loke.
Also at the event were Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar, Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun, Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian and China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC) vice-president Sun Ziyu.
CCCC is the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contractor of the network that is scheduled for completion by December 2026 so that a journey from Kota Baru to Putrajaya can be made in about four hours.
MRL said it will prioritise the works on its tunnels and viaducts along the alignment from Dungun, Terengganu to Mentakab, Pahang over the next six to 12 months in a bid to keep the project running on time.
“The prime focus would be on the design and physical works of the 14.13km of tunnels in 23 locations as well as preparatory works for 39.03km of viaducts in 65 locations,” it said, adding that these are situated within the 223km stretch from Dungun to Mentakab, where no rail alignment changes were made under the revised project specification. Advanced earthworks have commenced on several ECRL tunnel portal sites, including the 871m Dungun Tunnel, the 1.1km Paka Tunnel and the 2.8km Kuantan Tunnel, while site clearing and pile testing on multiple sites for viaducts are taking shape mainly in the coastal areas of Terengganu.
The revised project specifications involve reducing the network from 688km to 640km through alignment changes between Kota Baru and Dungun, together with the introduction of a new alignment southwards from Mentakab to Port Klang via Negri Sembilan and Putrajaya.
The project will feature at least 30 tunnels, with the longest tunnel measuring about 7km to be built in the Jelebu-Semenyih area of Negri Sembilan, along with several dozen viaducts with a combined length of nearly 100km.
All seven ECRL base camps and their satellite camps and batching plants in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang have been reactivated and local workers are expected to make up 70% of the workforce.
MRL CEO Datuk Seri Darwis Abdul Razak said local contractors eyeing the 40% civil works portion of the project would be notified in writing in a matter of weeks, adding that the ECRL pre-qualification evaluation committee is in the final stages of evaluating the bids from 1,321 Malaysian construction firms.
According to him, soil investigation works and topography survey have commenced on the stretch from Kota Baru to Dungun and the southern alignment from Mentakab to Port Klang, so that the final alignment can be locked down for land acquisition.
“We have proceeded with the land acquisition process under Section 8 of the Land Acquisition Act for the Dungun-Mentakab stretch involving 1,700 lots.
“In fact, most of these lots in Pahang have been gazetted by the authorities. We are ready for full-scale civil works, be it earthworks, foundation works and piling on multiple sites, along this 223km stretch to ensure the entire project is delivered in seven years,” he said.