Minister urges strategic planning to minimise traffic disruption for ART Red Line construction, especially in Simpang Tiga

Lee (third right) together with others showing the documents of the ART Red Line project progress at the contractor base at New Airport Road on June 21, 2024.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, June 21: Constructing diversion routes where necessary is crucial to minimising traffic disruption at the Simpang Tiga Interchange Station project site, which is part of the Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) Red Line network, as it is located in a busy and high-traffic area.

Sarawak Transport Minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin emphasised the importance of this to contractors working on the Red Line, particularly around Simpang Tiga, which experiences significant congestion during peak hours.


“I would like to stress that if construction would take up certain road sections, affecting traffic flow, make sure to construct a filter or alternative route first as a replacement to mitigate the impact,” he told a press conference when officiating the Kuching Urban Transport System (KUTS) Red Line Project’s integrated project management and workforce living quarters base along New Airport Road here today.

Construction of the Simpang Tiga Interchange Station, set to be largest interchange of the ART network project, is currently at the preparation stage.

The station is part of the 12.3-kilometre Red Line ART project under KUTS, which extends from Kuching Central to Pending and includes seven stations.

The project is a joint venture between Sri Datai Construction (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd, JT JV Builders Sdn Bhd, and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) Construction (M) Sdn Bhd.

Lee also highlighted the need for contractors to prioritise safety around the project site, ensuring the presence of safety and traffic signage, as well as adequate warning lights at night to protect workers and the public.

He also called on stakeholders, including agencies, contractors, and consultants, to closely monitor the project’s progress to avoid delays and ensure timely delivery.

“If any issues or obstacles arise, they should be addressed immediately to prevent delays. A contingency or catch-up plan must be in place. Rectify any issues promptly; do not wait. It’s basic principle to resolve problems as they occur rather than letting them escalate, which could become critical at later stages. Proper management is crucial for timely project delivery,” he stated.

Lee also requested the cooperation of all agencies and departments, including utility companies, to prioritise the project, in ensuring its completion and minimising public inconvenience.

“This is especially important now, as construction of the ART dedicated lanes and stations for the Red Line and Blue Line will soon commence in earnest, leading to expected disruptions in normal traffic flow. We kindly ask for the public’s patience and adherence to traffic signage during this period,” he added.

Deputy Minister of Transport Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, Sarawak Metro chief executive officer Ts Mazli Mustaffa, and Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) general manager Datu Abdul Hadi Abdul Kadir were among those present. — DayakDaily