30,000 to use tunnel in first month

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30,000 to use tunnel in first month

Postby admin » Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:22 am

KUALA LUMPUR: The Smart Tunnel will see 30,000 vehicles travelling its length when it begins operations this month.

Smart (Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel) Project director Datuk Azmi Mat Nor said this was the estimation for the first month as it would be toll-free during this period.

He said the permanent ban on heavy vehicles and motorcycles would ensure smooth flow of traffic round-the-clock.

"The ban is also to make sure there are no breakdowns and accidents in the tunnels."

Azmi was speaking after federal territories Minister Datuk Zulhasnan Rafique visited the project site yesterday before the official run on March 9.

The 3km motorway makes up part of a 9.7km water tunnel designed to channel water away from the city, reducing the risk of a flood.

The part where the motorway meets the water tunnel is the world’s first two-in-one tunnel.

In this area, water is channelled into a lower deck while the middle and upper decks are for motorists.

If need be, the two decks for vehicles can also be flooded to channel water.

The RM1.93 billion tunnel provides an alternative for motorists to escape the Jalan Tun Razak traffic congestion.

It is estimated that 200,000 vehicles travel the road above the tunnel daily.

Zulhasnan said about 96 per cent of the tunnel had been completed and that test runs were being carried out on the tunnel’s safety features.

He said a flash-flood system will be in place by the end of June, enabling the tunnel to function during a flash flood.

He said the Drainage and Irrigation Department and City Hall were also creating more retention ponds and canals in Gombak and its surroundings to reduce flash floods.

"We hope to have fewer incidences of flash floods once the projects are completed," he added.

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