Penang CM orders probe into Balik Pulau road crack

Cracks are seen on a newly repaired road heading to Balik Pulau after heavy downpour in Penang over the past few days. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Cracks are seen on a newly repaired road heading to Balik Pulau after heavy downpour in Penang over the past few days. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, May 10 — Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow has ordered state exco Zairil Khir Johari to conduct an investigation into the cracks that appeared on a newly repaired road heading to Balik Pulau.

Chow said the road, Jalan Bukit Lama, was recently repaired so the contractor must investigate the cause of the cracks.

Yesterday, parts of the road linking Bayan Lepas to Balik Pulau were cracked after a heavy bout of rain and the side lane has since been closed to traffic.

“For a newly repaired road to crack again, there are two possibilities, one is to check on the integrity of the new retaining wall, whether it is solid or cracks have appeared in the retaining wall, so the engineer will have to ascertain whether the wall can withstand the load of the traffic passing that road,” he said in a press conference at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) this morning.

He said the second possible cause for the cracks could be due to the compaction of the fill material for the road.

“They will have to see whether compaction was done accurately to take the load of the traffic so we will let the engineer and contractor do investigations on the site,” he said.

He said the contractor, a concession company under the Public Works Department specialising in repair works, will have to repair the cracked road.

Yesterday, Zairil said the road users can still use that road as the cracked portion does not pose a danger to users.

“It is on a side lane, the emergency lane which is often not used by traffic, so the whole road was not closed,” he said.

The public works, utilities and flood management committee chairman said the cause for the cracks was due to settlement of the ground.

“Rainwater seeped into the ground and road curb and weakened the roadbase so the settlement of the road occurred,” he said.

He said the roadbase will be replaced with a new compacted roadbase and that the portion of the road will be reconstructed.

“Works will start immediately and it is expected to complete in two weeks’ time,” he said.

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