WCE unlikely to be ready before Raya

08 May 2019 / 23:41 H.

PETALING JAYA: The West Coast Expressway (WCE) is unlikely to be ready for use during the balik kampung rush this Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Malaysian Highway Authority director-general Datuk Aziz Abdullah said works are ongoing at the expressway.

“We have to make sure that all the highway maintenance works are done properly,“ he was quoted by a Malay news portal as saying.

“There’s no point if we open the expressway to the public before Hari Raya and then shut it down later. This will be even more disappointing for users.”

However, he said his department is working hard to ensure the four packages involving three in Perak and one in Selangor can be accessed by the public soon.

The three packages in Perak are the Hutan Melintang-Teluk Intan (19.1km) line, Lekir-Changkat Chermin (28km) line and Changkat Chermin-Beruas (16.6km) line.

Several pictures showing a stretch of the highway that had collapsed went viral on social media today.

When contacted, a spokesman from the Selangor Disaster Management Unit confirmed that the pictures were from its drone division and were taken on Tuesday.

However, he declined to comment if a stretch of the highway was damaged. Attempts to contact Works Minister Baru Bian and Datuk Aziz Abdullah for comments were unsuccessful at press time.

In a statement, WCE denied that the burst water pipes last Sunday was due to the design and construction of the highway.

It said preliminary investigations found a soil wall structure problem was due to changes in the structure of the land and at present, the geotechnical consultant’s investigation is ongoing.

WCE managing director Datuk Neoh Soon Hiong had said five packages were planned to be ready before the Hari Raya celebration.

However, the opening of the five packages – two in Selangor and three in Perak – would need the federal government’s approval.

WCE, which is being built on the west coast of the peninsula, will be 233km long.

It is jointly developed by the Public Works Department and toll concessionaire WCE Holdings Bhd’s West Coast Expressway Sdn Bhd.

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