S’wak DAP chairman wants Works Minister to prioritise Kuching-Samarahan Expressway traffic light project

Chong (second right) with Dr Yii (on his right) talking with the construction workers at the site of Kuching-Samarahan Expressway traffic light project on Jan 2, 2023.

KUCHING, Jan 2: Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen has called upon Works Minister Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi to prioritise the progress of the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway traffic light project and the traffic flow management.

He said poor road closure and re-routing planning in the vicinity of the construction site had caused unbearable traffic jams for commuters along the road.

“We have received complaints from road users that for a short journey between Uni Garden to Hui Sing, it took the driver a shocking three hours; that is the time one could easily travel from Kuching to Sri Aman,” he said in a statement today after visiting the construction site together with Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen recently.

Chong, who is also Stampin MP, mentioned that the traffic light project started back in October 2020, but due to the poor selection of contractors, the project was stalled.

With a new contractor appointed to rescue the project, the Public Works Department (JKR) has announced that it will take at least up to November 2023 to complete.

“A project to convert a roundabout into a traffic light intersection takes more than three years to complete is unacceptable.

“More importantly, tens of thousands of road users are put to great inconvenience and time costs for the delay.

“Had the government been more responsible in their selection of the contractor, the project would have been completed long ago, and we would not be caught in such terrible jams every day during weekdays,” he added.

He further expressed dissatisfaction when no work was carried out at the site during the New Year holiday, stating that public holidays and nighttime would have been the best times to carry out such a project as there would be less traffic flow.

“We will call for a meet-up with the Ministry of Works (MoW) and the relevant contractor to discuss ways to speed up the project and ease the traffic jam during its implementation.

“Since we have a Sarawakian as our Minister of Works, more emphasis and attention ought to be given by the Minister to this project.

“There should be proper studies and sufficient diversion lanes set aside before the PWD gives the order to close the roads. Also, more traffic police should be deployed to help manage traffic during the peak hours,” he emphasised. — DayakDaily