Task force set up to resolve Kuching Ranger Depot Road traffic woes

Yellow highlight depicting the problematic area along Kuching-Serian Road where traffic often accumulates during peak and medium peak hours.

KUCHING, Dec 11: Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shim assures that his ministry is heading a Special Traffic Task Force, seeking to resolve the traffic congestion at Kuching Ranger Depot Road.

He said the task force has been specially established to deliberate this bottleneck problem where road users have resorted to using Sg Tapang Road leading to the Kuching Ranger Depot Road as the shortcut due to traffic blockade at the main Penrissen Road.

Noting that the situation was due to construction works of four flyovers from Mile 4 to Mile 10 which is part of the Pan Borneo Highway, he said the task force has come up with five recommendations consisting of both short and long term measures.

“The Special Traffic Task Force convened at the site on Dec 7 and concluded that a U-Turn along Airport Road less than 100 metres from the egress of Kuching Ranger Depot Road is not feasible.

“This is due to the design speed of Kuching Airport Road that does not allow for deceleration as the traffic travel towards Kuching Sentral.

“Following several other meetings and site visits, the Special Traffic Task Force recommended five solutions both interim and long-term measures to overcome the traffic congestion in the area,” he explained in a statement today.

One of the interim measures is to station traffic warden or police traffic officers at the junction of Penrissen Road and Airport Road during peak hours on weekdays, starting Dec 14, to control and manage the traffic flow.

Another non-permanent measure is to convert one of the four lanes from Serian to Kuching at the Kuching Airport Junction as a temporary road to ensure uninterrupted traffic flow.

Lee said in the meantime, a slip road by-passing the main road will be constructed to facilitate smooth traffic through Mile 4.

Adding on, he asserted the task force is also expecting the tender for a link road from Sg Tapang to the newly approved road at Samarahan through Kota Sentosa by early next year while federal funding is available.

“With the construction of this road, it is anticipated that traffic will disperse as those who live towards Samarahan side will use the most convenient route which is the new inner ring road without having to make the journey to Kuching through Airport Road.

“The fifth recommendation is to re-design Kuching Ranger Depot Road as a T-Junction and install smart traffic lights to regulate the traffic flow, however, a detailed study is required to conduct a traffic count and investigate the existing utilities on the affected alignment,” said Lee.

Thus, he urged for the cooperation of all road users including motorists while the authorities work to permanently resolve this issue.—DayakDaily