WORK on Jalan Bukit Kukus, the alternative road linking Lebuhraya Thean Teik in Bandar Baru Air Itam to Lebuh Bukit Jambul in Penang is progressing slightly ahead of schedule.
The project, which began on Jan 15 last year, is slated to be completed on Jan 14, 2019.
Penang Island City Council (MBPP) Infrastructure and Traffic Committee alternate chairman Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said the overall progress of the project was currently at 36% while the progress of the three segments under the MBPP was slightly ahead of schedule.
“Meanwhile, private developers PLB Land Sdn Bhd and Geo Valley Sdn Bhd are working on two stretches of the 5km road.
“Segments 1 and 2 which involved upgrading works to the existing road have been completed while Segment 3 is 45% completed.
“On top of that, MBPP is also constructing a 600m elevated road linking Jalan Bukit Kukus to Jalan Tun Sardon,” he said during a site visit to the project in Bayan Lepas yesterday.
Muhammad Bakhtiar said the council was upgrading a 1.1km stretch along Lebuhraya Thean Teik and a 1.5km stretch along Lebuh Bukit Jambul as part of the project.
“We are also building an elevated U-turn along Lebuh Bukit Jambul for those who want to make a turn and go back to Relau.
“The right turn from Tingkat Bukit Jambul to Lebuh Bukit Jambul will be removed and a roundabout is being installed for safer and smoother traffic.
“People from Paya Terubong can directly access Lebuh Bukit Jambul via the roundabout,” he said.
Muhammad Bakhtiar said the three segments by the council cost RM275.6mil while the whole project would cost RM545mil.
MBPP Engineering Department deputy director A. Rajendran, who was also present, said they were currently building the columns with the highest being 50m along Segment 3.
“One of the reasons we are building such high columns is to minimise hill cutting.
“We are trying to minimise the disturbance and we will also plant trees and shrubs after the project is completed.
“We are currently working on creating the road platform, and strengthening and stabilising the slopes,” he said.
Rajendran added that the main issue faced by the project was the unpredictable weather.
“The rainy season has made it difficult as we cannot do any earth works when it rains.
“We are hoping everything goes as scheduled and barring any unforeseen circumstances, we will be able to complete the project on schedule,” he said.
The alternative road is intended to ease traffic congestion along Jalan Paya Terubong, which is an arterial road linking Bayan Baru, Balik Pulau and Air Itam.