Ahead of CNY, Johor appeals for Ayer Hitam-JB Expressway to be widened to six lanes

Johor Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation Committee chairman Mohd Solihan Badri (centre) promoting the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 campaign at the Kempas Toll Plaza in Johor Baru January 21, 2020. — Picture by Ben Tan
Johor Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation Committee chairman Mohd Solihan Badri (centre) promoting the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 campaign at the Kempas Toll Plaza in Johor Baru January 21, 2020. — Picture by Ben Tan

JOHOR BARU, Jan 21 — The Johor state government is urging Putrajaya today to approve the proposed extension of the North-South Expressway’s route between Ayer Hitam to Johor Baru, turning it from the present four lanes to six lanes.

Johor Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation Committee chairman Mohd Solihan Badri said this was because the route was no longer able to accommodate the increase in vehicles, especially during peak hours and festive seasons.

At present, he said the stretch would see a massive traffic congestion if there were accidents, thus impacting productivity.

“The Johor Government has proposed an extension of PLUS Malaysia Bhd’s North-South Expressway from Ayer Hitam to Skudai route measuring 65 kilometers from the present four to six lanes under the 12th Malaysia Plan,” said Mohd Solihan.

“A Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) study also found that it was time to increase the number of lanes between the expressway’s Ayer Hitam to Skudai route as the number of vehicles passing through had reached a maximum level of service.”

He said this to reporters after officiating the state-level integrated operation and road safety campaign ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations at the Kempas Toll Plaza (northbound) here.

Also present was Johor Road Transport Department Razali Wagiman and also senior officers from the police, the Road Safety Department and highway operator PLUS Malaysia Bhd.

Earlier, the Tenang assemblyman had distributed 30 hampers and 200 gift bags containing road safety paraphernalia to motorists at the toll plaza.

On the integrated operation, called Ops Bersepadu, Mohd Solihan said it was to remind road users to always adhere to the rules, especially when driving during festive seasons.

According to police statistics, the number of deaths due to road accidents recorded from January until November last year dropped to 5,661 cases compared to 6,284 cases during the same period in 2018.

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