TELUK INTAN, May 31 — Motorists in the peninsula travelling interstate now have an alternative route with the opening of Section 8 of the West Coast Expressway (WCE) starting 6pm today.
The 18-kilometre route is between Hutan Melintang and Teluk Intan in Perak and is open just in time for the massive exodus from cities for Hari Raya Puasa, which falls on June 5 and 6 this year.
“As promised, we managed to open the stretch before Hari Raya and it is expected to ease the traffic during the festive season,” Deputy Works Minister Mohd Anuar Mohd Tahir said in launching the new route at Plaza Tol Teluk Intan here this morning.
“The stretch will shorten the journey for about 11 minutes as compared to using the Federal Road FT 005,” he said.
He added that the stretch dubbed Section 8 is also a shortcut route for the residents of Sabak Bernam, Bagan Datok, Hutan Melintang, Teluk Intan and Sitiawan.
Section 8 is one of 12 sections of WCE, which runs from Selangor to Perak. The bulk of the highway is in Selangor with seven sections and the remaining five located in Perak.
Mohd Anuar said the Section 8 will be toll free until the government decides on the toll policy and rate for the stretch.
He also said that a 44km stretch running from Section 9 from Lekir to Changkat Chermin and Section 10 from Changkat Chermin to Beruas in Perak, is expected to be open for the public in August.
“About 95 per cent of both the stretches has been completed so far,” he said.
Mohd Anuar also said that the remaining sections will be opened gradually and the entire 223km WCE road from Selangor to Perak will be fully completed and opened by the end of next year.
He also advises the public, especially motorcycle riders to not use the WCE road which are not officially opened.
“I was made to understand that there were some cases of motorcycle riders using the WCE stretches either for the purpose of fun or racing.
“They have to understand that the roads which are not officially opened is yet to go through the federal gazette and have not fulfilled the safety compliance. So if anything happens, they can’t claim any insurance,” he said.
The 223km WCE stretches from Jalan Banting-KLIA (B18) to the Tanjong Karang interchange (93.8km) in Selangor and from Jalan Persekutuan (FR5) in Hutan Melintang to the Changkat Jering Plaza Toll (139.2km) in Perak.
WCE involves a total of 21 interchanges, with 10 interchanges in Selangor and 11 in Perak.
The stretches also linked to the existing highways such as the PLUS Highway, The South Klang Valley Expressway, New Klang Valley Expressway, New North Klang Straits Bypass, Shah Alam Expressway and a few more.