Proposed Juru-Sungai Dua elevated highway expected to cost RM1.8bil


Photo: ZHAFARAN NASIB

BUTTERWORTH: The proposed Juru-Sungai Dua (JSD) elevated highway to alleviate congestion from Juru to Sungai Dua is estimated to cost RM1.8bil.

Deputy Works Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (pic) reported that the 15km-long project has completed the first of three stages required for confirmation.

"The state has formally requested the project from the Federal Government. Subsequently, PLUS Malaysia presented the proposal to the Public-Private Partnership Unit (of the Prime Minister’s Department) in February, and discussions are currently underway. Once confirmed, the next step would involve seeking Cabinet approval," he told reporters on Tuesday (June 4).

Ahmad expressed optimism about the project's prospects, highlighting its potential long-term benefits for Penang and the neighbouring states whose residents frequently travel the route and encounter heavy traffic.

"If Pak Lah (former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) is remembered for the second Penang Bridge (Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge) during his tenure, then I hope the current Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) will be remembered for the JSD.

“Despite expected construction challenges over the current highway, we are hopeful, as we can already see 'light at the end of the tunnel' at this stage," Ahmad added.

Earlier, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the severity of traffic congestion on the existing highway was experienced by Anwar himself during a trip taken in February this year.

"I had unintentionally brought Anwar from Permatang Pauh to Batu Kawan to launch an industrial park project during peak hour and he felt the problem.

"The matter was raised again in April and the Public Works Department (JKR) with other agencies then conducted surveys at the section," he said.

Chow had earlier officiated the Urban Road Seminar @ Penang 2024 organised by Road Engineering Association Malaysia (REAM) at PICCA Convention Centre in Butterworth here.

In his speech, he said JSD was among his wish list for Penang, apart from the Light Rail Transit (LRT) project, which is anticipated to commence construction by the end of the year.

For years, the stretch of the North-South Expressway from Juru to Sungai Dua toll plaza has been a notorious bottleneck for motorists heading to the Penang Bridge or travelling between Perak and Kedah.

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