$386m to maintain highways in Malaysia

$386m to maintain highways in Malaysia
File photo: Motorists use PLUS Expressways along Sungai Buloh outside Kuala Lumpur October 15, 2010.

PETALING JAYA - Almost RM1bil (S$386 million) is spent annually to operate, maintain and upgrade highways by PLUS Malaysia Berhad, said its chief operating officer Mohammad Fuad Khusairi.

"About RM600mil or 20 per cent of the company's annual toll collection is being used specifically to undertake highway maintenance works," he said at a media briefing on the maintenance and upkeep of PLUS highways.

Mohammad Fuad said the maintenance of these highways was a major challenge as they span through varying terrain and ground conditions.

"These include almost 4,674 lane-km of pavement, 6,710 slopes, 434 bridges, 4,916 drainage culverts and two tunnels," he said.

He said PLUS had a compre­hensive maintenance framework to ensure the highways offered smoother travel for motorists.

"Our maintenance regime includes planning, inspections and technical investigations," he said.

Mohammad Fuad said PLUS utilised state-of-the-art systems, inclu­ding the Total Expressway Mainte­nance Management System, Real Time Slope Monitoring System along with periodical audits to maintain their highways.

The media was given a demonstration on how visual inspections of high-risk slopes in Bukit Lanjan are carried out by the staff, who have to abseil down with ropes, and how a robot is used to inspect small culverts.

Mohammad Fuad said its 1,000-strong staff, including engineers and technical executives, collectively conducted 10,000 inspections every year.

PLUS-operated highways are the North-South Expressway (NSE), North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), Federal Highway Route 2 (FHR2), Seremban-Port Dickson Highway (SPDH), North-South Exp­ress­way Central Link (ELITE), the Malaysia-Singapore Second Crossing (Linkedua), Butterworth-Kulim Exp­ress­way (BKE) and the Penang Bridge.

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