BY VINCENT TAN
THE Petaling Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) proposed road widening project from Jalan Harapan to the Sprint highway is a cause for concern for some Section 19 residents. They question whether the project would be able to disperse traffic effectively as planned.
The formal announcement was made by MBPJ at a press conference, in which it was also announced that construction of a new service road between Ara Damansara and Kelana Jaya would begin in August this year.
The Jalan Harapan project, which aims to build a direct route from the former Rothmans roundabout to the expressway, forms the second package of a two-phase traffic upgrading project.
Package Two, which spans 1.3km of Jalan Harapan, entails widening the road into three lanes in both directions, with footpaths on either side.
Other package components include building a road at the so-called 300m “Missing Link”, in between two housing areas in Section 17 and 19, to create a direct connection, and the installation of traffic lights at two intersections.
However, Section 19 Residents’ Association chairman Tan Yew Leong pointed out that although the road widening project would create a direct route, residents were worried that there would be a bottleneck at the exit to the Sprint highway.
“Although you have three lanes heading into the highway, only one lane is a dedicated one. The left lane feeds into Damansara Intan, and the right lane will U-turn back into Jalan 19/13,” said Tan.
However, city councillor Lee Suet Sen said in a phone interview that based on studies conducted by traffic consultants, this was the best solution to channel traffic heading onto the Sprint expressway.
“Part of the land at the Sprint exit is reserve land for the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) and we are unable to acquire it,” said Lee.
Meanwhile, the construction of a new service road, measuring 400m beginning from the FAS tunnel to the new Ara Damansara LRT (Light Rail Transit) station, will begin in August this year.
The road project is aimed at reducing traffic congestion in the Kelana Jaya area, as well as in Jalan PJU 1A/4F.
This means that residents in Jalan PJU 1A/4F will need to head to Jalan PJU 1A/4C to use the FAS tunnel to cross the NKVE.
Other components of this project will entail the tarring and widening of existing roads, relocation of utilities and a flood mitigation system in the area.
A sound barrier, measuring 263m in length and 1.5m in height, will be built along the road as well.
The call for bids on both projects was opened in May 13 with the contractors appointed this month.
The Kelana Jaya-Ara Damansara road is expected to be completed by January 2014, while the Jalan Harapan projected is estimated to be ready by July next year.