JOHOR BARU: Over half of the 23 roadworks along the Pasir Gudang highway have been completed, with the state government pushing for the rest to be finished to avoid worsening traffic congestion, says state exco member Mohamad Fazli Mohamad Salleh.
Mohamad Fazli, who holds the works, transportation and infrastructure portfolio, said traffic condition had improved with most of the roadworks having been completed. There are now eight more projects remaining.
“Tentatively, the remaining roadworks are expected to be completed by the middle of next month, but we are pushing for them to be finished earlier,” he said in an interview.
The state government was aware of public frustration over the heavy congestion in the area that had been ongoing for weeks, he added.“We have received many complaints about the traffic jam in the already congested area. I understand their frustration, but I hope that they can be patient for just a while longer.
“Normally, we will only get allocation for one or two road upgrading projects at a time from the Federal Government, but this time, we got the green light to carry out more than 20 roadworks.“This is actually a good thing for the people because the Pasir Gudang highway is in dire need of upgrading,” he said.
Mohamad Fazli said he was keeping a close watch on the progress of the projects, adding that traffic police had also been placed in the area to reduce bottleneck.
“There are those who question why the roads are not being paved immediately after being dug to avoid wasting time. The reason for this is because we are using the cold in-place recycling (CIPR) method as there is road base damage on the highway.
“With this method, we need to destroy the old road surface and mix it in the road base with a stabilising material such as cement.
“The road surface is then left open to ensure that the mixture will reach the required level of durability. This process takes between 24 and 72 hours depending on the weather. During this period, no work is done on site,” he said.
In recent weeks, many have taken to social media to air their frustrations over the heavy congestion along the Pasir Gudang highway due to the upgrading works.
In a statement last Friday, Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim said that he had also received dozens of complaints and urged the Pasir Gudang City Council and Public Works Department to come out with notices on the closed roads as well as provide alternative routes.