What a scary encounter for Penangites.
Yesterday (Thursday, 13th October), drivers were shocked to discover that the road alongside Jalan Lembah Permai (previously known as Vale of Tempe Road) had caved in as a result of heavy downpour, forcing authorities to close the road for 6 weeks.
According to reports, the 3km narrow road that goes around Pepper Estate to Tanjung Bungah saw some of the dangerous cracks measuring to approximately 200m long. Motorists who wanted to avoid the snaky road were advised to use Jalan Tanjung Tokong instead.
Public Works Department (PWD) revealed that the cracks were noticed 5 months ago, with an initial cost of RM365,000. However, delay in funds from the Federal Government prevented them from carrying out the intended correction work.
“We detected a tension crack in the road in May and had hired a local contractor on 13th Sept to carry out remedial work. The contractor was supposed to start work on Monday,” explained State Public Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng.
Meanwhile, netizens online are suggesting that the road cracks could have been caused by heavy earth-carrying vehicles. “I believe lorries are partly to be blamed for the damage. Although there are sign boards prohibiting them using this road, they can be frequently seen sneaking through carrying heavy loads and posing a danger to motorist using this narrow road. A height barrier may be a better solution to stop these lorries,” said Facebook user Jerry Low.
His sentiments were echoed by DAP member Zairil Khir Johari who replied, “Agree with you. I actually proposed a height barrier before but JKR had issue with it because the road is also accessed by PBA trucks and council trucks. The other issue is enforcement – OCPD at the scene agreed that we have to find a way to stop or catch lorries using the road illegally.”
Fortunately, the crack was visible during day time, else someone could have gotten injured had the road collapsed at night.