New Tropicana tunnel opens to traffic
The Star, 12 August 2009
THE Tropicana Tunnel, a much-anticipated project since 2005 to ease the worsening congestion in the Tropicana area, has drawn both flak and praises as its new segment was opened to the public early this month.
Another pair of vehicular box culverts have been installed next to the existing ones along Persiaran Tropicana, under the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) to provide better access to and from Tropicana, Tropicana Indah Resort Homes (formerly known as Damansara Indah Resort Homes), Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP), Bandar Utama (BU 11) and Bukit Mayang Mas.
The project was finally put in place with an allocation of RM15mil from the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) last year.
Better access: Another pair of vehicular box culverts (left) have been installed next to the existing tunnel along Persiaran Tropicana, and were open to traffic since August
Works took about seven months to complete.
According to En Mohamad Roslan Sakiman, Datuk Bandar of Petaling Jaya City Council or Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ), and En Anuar Mohd Idris, consulting engineer from Zaidun-Leeng Sdn Bhd, the second tunnel will be able to cope with flood or stagnant water as it is built with the anti-flood system; using pipes and special drains to disperse the trapped or stagnant water during heavy downpour.
Tropicana Residents’ Association president Victor Lye said the residents could finally heave a sigh of relief when the tunnel was open to traffic as the problem of congestion was worsening.
“Good job, we are quite happy with MBPJ. We have waited for years and finally it has come true,” he said.
Keep it there: Some quarters are worried that this new walkway along the Tropicana Tunnel, which is not equipped with disabled-friendly features when it was paved, may be cut out and inserted with tactile blocks in the near future.
He said the facility could be further improved with landscaping and 24-hour lighting inside the tunnel, adding that traffic flow would be better if the U-turn near the Aman Suria housing estate could be placed further from the tunnel.
A resident from the area said safety measures should be considered for the tunnel, such as installing lights along the narrow pedestrian pavement.
The resident also expressed concern that the pavement might later be resurfaced for the sake of upgrading similar to what has happened at Jalan Gasing recently.
In June, folk in Jalan Gasing and other Petaling Jaya residents questioned why the council did not install disabled-friendly features when they resurfaced the pedestrian pavement along Jalan Gasing, but spent extra money to “upgrade” it seven months later.
Stay bright: A look at the interior of the new Tropicana Tunnel. Tropicana Residents’ Association had appealed for 24-hour lighting inside the tunnel.
MBPJ councillor Anthony Thanasayan then explained that the disabled-friendly pavement was a test case which would be integrated in all similar facilities in the future.
Petaling Jaya mayor Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman, when approached, said the tunnel was open at the moment for trial purposes, and that the council was still gathering the public’s input on how to further improve its safety and usage.
When told about the narrow pedestrian pavement, he said the relevant teams would look into the matter.