SITIAWAN, Sept 23 — Sections 9 and 10 of the West Coast Expressway (WCE) from Kampung Lekir, Sitiawan to Beruas in Perak will be opened to road users starting tonight.

Secretary-general of the Works Ministry, Datuk Dr Syed Omar Sharifuddin Syed Ikhsan said opening of the 45-kilometre stretch, built at a cost of RM917 million could save travelling time by 30 minutes to Beruas town.

“It is a shortcut route for residents around Teluk Intan, Kampung Lekir in Sitiawan, Beruas and Seri Iskandar,” he said in his speech at the opening of Section 9 and 10 of the WCE at the Kampung Lekir toll plaza, here, today.

Also present were Malaysian Highway Authority director-general, Datuk Aziz Abdullah and West Coast Expressway Holdings Berhad chairman, Datuk Hamzah Hassan.

Syed Omar said there were five intersections, namely Kampung Lekir, Sitiawan, Sitiawan North, Changkat Chermin and Beruas along the stretch.

He said users would not be paying toll until the government decided on the policy and toll rates for the expressway.

The opening of the Kampung Lekir-Beruas stretch of the WCE is the second after the opening of Section 8 from the Hutan Melintang intersection to the Teluk Intan intersection on May 31.

Syed Omar said more than 600,000 vehicles had used the Section 8 stretch as a shortcut for residents around Sabak Bernam in Selangor and Bagan Datuk, Hutan Melintang, Teluk Intan and Sitiawan in Perak.

“This stretch shortens the travelling time by about 11 minutes compared to using the federal road FT005, besides having facilities like a surau and toilets next to the Hutan Melintang and Teluk Intan toll plazas.

“The FT005 road from Teluk Intan to Kampung Lekir and from Tanjung Karang in Selangor to Hutan Melintang in Perak is also being upgraded for travel comfort when the project is completed,” he added. — Bernama