KUALA SELANGOR: Preliminary investigations show that the sinkhole near the Bentong toll plaza at KM66.1 of the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway was caused by the construction of the East Coast Rail Link (RCRL) underground tunnel, says Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi.
The Works Minister added that repairs are expected to be completed on Tuesday (July 26) evening and the route can be reopened by 7pm.
“I’m pleased with the swift action taken and we can expect the road to be used by 7 pm,” he told reporters after visiting the construction work at Section of the West Coast Expressway (WCE) here on Tuesday.
He said that the WCE, stretching from Banting, Selangor to South Taiping, Perak, was 88% complete.
“Overall, the project covers 233 km, of which 88km is toll-free.
“The construction progress was slightly delayed by land acquisition issues. Initially the cost of land acquisition was estimated to be around RM980mil but it finally ended up to be over RM2bil. All this has been resolved,” Alexander added.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL), owner of the ECRL project, said that investigations into the real cause of the sinkhole were still ongoing.
MRL said their engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contractor (EPCC) had promptly notified the the highway concessionaire, Anih Bhd after detecting soil settlement in the vicinity through its monitoring system for the underground tunnelling works.
“Our EPCC contractor promptly notified Anih Bhd to close the affected area to traffic. This was undertaken before the sinkhole emerged, allowing for the prompt implementation of necessary mitigating measures,” MRL said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that its project team dispatched machinery and manpower to initiate works in covering the sinkhole and repairs were progressing as planned and would be completed by 7pm.
The Public Works Ministry also issued a statement stating that a comprehensive investigation will be conducted as a long-term remedial measure. The investigation will be under the Malaysian Highway Authority with cooperation of all parties involved and the area will be monitored continuously to detect any underground soil movement. – Bernama