JOHOR BARU - Johor is looking to build a 1.2km walkway on the Causeway for those travelling between the state and Singapore.
Johor Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation Committee chairman Mohd Solihan Badri said this came about after the state government found out that many people are risking their lives crossing the link without such an infrastructure to ensure their safety. This is especially prevalent during peak hours, when people rush across, to avoid being stuck in traffic congestion.
"This is at the proposal stage. With the walkway, we can resolve this safety issue," national news agency Bernama quoted Mr Mohd Solihan as saying.
"We've found that many bus passengers are encroaching on lanes used by vehicles to beat the traffic before continuing their journey by public transport when they reach the other side (Singapore)," he told reporters after visiting the proposed site for the walkway at the Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex on Tuesday.
The proposed project is expected to cost RM15 million (S$4.9 million).
The footpath will be covered and built on the existing motorcycle lanes on both sides of the Causeway.
Mr Mohd Solihan said last year that an estimated 215,000 people used the Causeway to head to Singapore, of which 60 per cent were pedestrians.
"Consultants are preparing a detailed proposal for the state government to study, and it should be ready in two or three weeks," he added.
Singapore welcomed the proposal and said it was committed to working with Malaysia to find practical and effective solutions to resolve congestion at the Causeway.
In response to media queries yesterday, a spokesman from Singapore's Ministry of Transport noted that there is already a pedestrian walkway on Singapore's side of the Causeway beside the vehicular lanes.
"While we have yet to receive any official proposal or communications from Malaysia regarding their proposal, we welcome the construction of a sheltered walkway on Malaysia's side linking the Johor Bahru CIQ to the pedestrian walkway on Singapore's side," the spokesman said.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.