IPOH, March 17 — The Perak government has approved the construction of a new highway that bypasses the Menora Tunnel route along the North-South Expressway (NSE) where many accidents have been reported over the years.
Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Saarani Mohamad said the construction proposal by a private construction company was discussed during the state executive council meeting today.
He did not disclose the name of the construction company.
“We have heard their briefing on the construction of a new highway in order to avoid using the Menora Tunnel.
“And we have no objection to that suggestion and support the construction as it does not involve funds from the state government,” he told a press conference after unveiling the new logo for the women and public development secretariat here.
Saarani said that the 800-metre Menora Tunnel which is underneath the Kledang Range, will remain in operation even after the construction of the new highway. The alternative route is expected to connect Gopeng and Kuala Kangsar.
“The Menora Tunnel route will not be closed. This new route will help reduce traffic on the highway. It will be an alternative route,” he explained.
However, Saarani said the project is still a long way before it could be put into work.
“The construction company first has to seek out funds and before that they have to get the approval from the Work Department at the federal level.
“So they came to us for permission and with that they will have to find the funds needed for the project. We don’t have any objection as we need that highway,” he said.
The dual-carriageway Menora Tunnel was opened officially in 1986.