Tuesday, May 15, 2007

SMART Tunnel Now Opened

14 May 2007

Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel or SMART Tunnel has finally been opened to public starting today. This is a new architectural landmark in Kuala Lumpur and has featured in Discovery Channel. The tunnel has dual purpose which is to mitigate flood and also to serve as two-storey highway.

In the morning, I thought of getting the first time experience driving into the newly-built tunnel but couldn't make it as I was late. However, after a long working hours, I managed to drive there. From the North, the tunnel can be accessed via Jalan Tun Razak near to Menara RHB/Kg. Pandan round about or from Jalan Sultan Ismail (Bukit Bintang). The tunnel ends at KL-Seremban Highway near to TUDM Sungai Besi.

It was an enjoyable driving experience since everybody was not rushing while seeing the internal view of the spectacular tunnel. The ride was smooth but the tunnel is not straight as it has to cut through underground pilings of KL buildings. For the first month, motorist can enjoy free access but the toll charge for the subsequent months has not been finalised yet. Think everybody expects this will be the highest ever toll rate in KL since the costs associated with this mega project were huge.

When reaching the end of the tunnel, there were toll booths. Due to testing period, drivers with Touch&Go card and SmartTAG still had to use them. However, the value inside was not deducted as the access was still free.

I made U-turn at Cheras/Taman Desa flyover and drove back into the tunnel to the North. In the tunnel, local radio frequencies are displayed for drivers to tune in to get the latest updates on the tunnel condition. As the tunnel has dual purpose which one of them is to mitigate flood, during heavy rain, the highway will be closed and will be flooded with rainwater. In emergency cases, there are staircase to climb up to the ground level. Hopefully there will be no cases whereby drivers have to leave their cars when the water floods in. Think every driver now has to consider buying catastrophe insurance for every car.

Before reaching the other end of the tunnel, the highway splited into two directions. Once headed to Jalan Tun Razak while the other one to Jalan Sultan Ismail. I took the latter one. The tunnel is linked to Jalan Imbi/Jalan Pudu and Jalan Sultan Ismail junction, near to Berjaya Times Square. For shopping craze, it is now easier to go shopping at Bukit Bintang.

The tunnel entrance from the North via Jalan Tun Razak.

The tunnel view.

More tunnel view.

No toll charge yet.

Entrance from South.

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Posted by stROZze at 4:44 PM |  
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