| Lyna Mohamad |
MINISTER of Development Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman yesterday called on members of the public to refrain from taking shortcuts when crossing roads, and instead to make use of government-provided facilities like pedestrian bridges.
The call was made in view of the issue of pedestrians making illegal road crossings when pedestrian bridges are available. This is apparent at schools, particularly during rush hour. To counter the problem, road dividers will be set up in certain areas as a preventive measure.
Speaking to the media during a foundation-laying ceremony for a pedestrian bridge in Jalan Kianggeh (near Radisson Hotel) yesterday, the minister pointed out that several areas have been identified as being in need of pedestrian bridges.
Pedestrian bridges have been built for the safety of the public, while those erected near schools are to facilitate the safe crossing of students, parents and teachers who parked their vehicles outside the school compound.
Typically, matters related to road safety and traffic congestion are handled by the relevant government agencies, but support and contribution from the private sector or individuals are very much welcomed.
The Public Works Department of the Ministry of Development had mooted constructing a pedestrian bridge near Radisson Hotel. Responding to this, Low San Hardware Managing Director Ong Tiong Oh stepped forward and offered to construct the bridge as a way of giving back to the community, an offer that was considered and accepted.
As its location is in the town centre and close to the Lapau building, the construction of this bridge – which will provide safe passage for the public, particularly schoolchildren crossing the busy Jalan Kianggeh intersection, is designed differently.
Consultant M/s Boloton Hennessey Sdn Bhd was engaged to carry out the design and supervise the construction.
After the tender process, the project was awarded in the April of last year to M/s Pro Builder at a cost of $770,000.
The first seven months were allocated to identify, divert or protect, if possible, all the affected services such as water, sewer, electrical, drainage, telecom and so forth.
During the planning and construction stages, the relevant stakeholders – including Departments of Municipal, Roads, Water Services, Telecoms and Electrical Services as well as Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe) – provided advise, assisting in works, particularly on affected services.
The foundation-laying ceremony initiated with an introductory exhibition of the bridge, and was followed by the foundation-laying officiated by the minister, Ong Tiong Oh and other guests.
Also present at the event were Permanent Secretary (Technical and Professional) at the Ministry of Development Dato Paduka Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar, Permanent Secretary (Administration and Finance) at the Ministry of Development Haji Muhammad Lufti bin Haji Abdullah and other senior officials from the ministry and the departments under it.