BAGAN SERAI: The construction of the West Ipoh Span Expressway (WISE) that will connect Gopeng and Kuala Kangsar along a 60-kilometre (km) route is now in the final stages of negotiation and is expected to be finalised in December at the latest.

Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA) chairman Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias said negotiations with the appointed concession holder covered various stages, including estimated total construction costs.

“We hope negotiations will go smoothly and construction will run according to planned,” he said during a media conference for a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme for MHA and its concession holder association in conjunction with 2023 Malaysia DAy at Al-Mahmuddiah Mosque here today.

The Perak state government had previously expressed its hope that the construction of WISE could be expedited to avoid the frequent fatal accidents at Menora Tunnel as well as traffic congestion there.

WISE is expected to serve as an alternative route for the Menora Tunnel for motorists.

Meanwhile, Jalaluddin shared that RM5.2 billion has been allocated for the construction of the entire West Coast Expressway that spans a distance of 233 km from Rawang to Changkat Jering, and the remaining parts under construction was the 35.5 km Beruas to Changkat Jering section, which is expected to begin operation in January next year.

“What’s most important is that it will reduce traffic congestion,” he said, adding that the MHA was still studying the need to expand the WCE to any area deemed necessary.

He had earlier presented food boxes to 20 recipients as part of the CSR programme.-Bernama

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