The famous route; Federal Route 17 or the Pasir Gudang highway had made headlines previously for receiving a makeover of lane expansion from four-lanes to six-lane carriageway that was initiated since July 2012.
Despite the completion delay for Phase 1 that covered a stretch between Kangkar Tebrau and Plentong interchange, we are yet to see better improvement soon as Phase 2A that spreads along 7.7km route from Plentong to Bandar Seri Alam intersection is currently ongoing and is expected to meet completion in September 2018.
Recently, Menteri Besar Johor, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin during a briefing session of the Pasir Gudang highway upgrade project at Kampung Baru Cina, Plentong claimed that the cost allocated for this project was approximately RM164.3 million while the whole project which is divided into four phases will cost around RM1 billion.
“I am satisfied with the progress so far as it is 39% complete which is ahead of the schedule compared to the targeted 36%. I hope road users would be patient towards the current changes happening and we are confident that the upgrades can be done on time,” he said.
The Iskandarian had spotted several concerns pertaining to safety issues at the Plentong bridge which still lacks proper guardrails and street lights especially at night, compared to our previous observation last year. Motorists and other road users are alarmed by the conditions and have no choice but to slow down at the area to avoid any mishaps.
Meanwhile, the same condition reoccurred near the Bandar Seri Alam exit due to improper placement of concrete dividers that acquires a small area on left lane for both directions heading towards Pasir Gudang or Johor Bahru. This is a road hazard as motorists have to slightly maneuver and occupy the right lane causing close proximities within the other vehicles.
An admin executive, Izzat Syukri Abdul Razak who occasionally commutes on Federal Route 17 on weekdays expressed his disappointment of the imbalanced road structure and potholes which causes hazard to other road users while commenting that the lane expansion does not guarantee a smooth traffic.
However, Aisyah Mazalan, a photographer seems to think otherwise. “I have been using the same highway for over 10 years and albeit the slow progress, I see better progress compared to the past. I always commute from Skudai to Pasir Gudang almost four times a week and during peak hours. At least, the number of potholes is dropping.”
We have to see if Phase 2A of the highway will be completed on time by the fourth quarter of 2018 and the full completion of the entire 32km highway upgrade project is yet another game of wait and see on the project.