Johor plans covered walkway on Malaysian side of Causeway

Before the Covid-19 pandemic led to the closure of the Causeway, hundreds of people walked across it daily to avoid being caught in heavy traffic. The proposed walkway will have escalators and air-conditioning. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Before the Covid-19 pandemic led to the closure of the Causeway, hundreds of people walked across it daily to avoid being caught in heavy traffic. The proposed walkway will have escalators and air-conditioning. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

ISKANDAR PUTERI • The Johor state government is planning to build a 350m covered walkway for pedestrians on the Malaysian side of the Causeway, at a cost of RM30 million (S$9.9 million), a senior Johor official said.

Once completed, the project would make it more comfortable for the hundreds of people who walk across the land link connecting Johor Baru to Woodlands, said Mr Mohd Solihan Badri, Johor's state executive councillor for the public works, infrastructure and transport committee on Sunday, as quoted by Bernama news agency.

Before the coronavirus pandemic led to the general closure of the Causeway, more than 300,000 people used the land link each day, including some 100,000 who commuted daily to work in Singapore.

Most commuters used motorcycles, cars and buses to get across what is reputed to be the world's busiest border crossing.

But in normal times, hundreds of people are often seen walking across the Causeway daily to reach the other side faster due to the traffic snarls.

Malaysia's federal government has doubled its initial allocation of RM15 million after the walkway was redesigned, with the addition of escalators and air-conditioning, Mr Mohd Solihan told reporters on the sidelines of the Johor state assembly proceedings.

"The construction will involve the Home Ministry and Works Ministry as the Johor Causeway is maintained by the Malaysian Highway Authority," he said.

Mr Mohd Solihan did not say whether the covered walkway would be built on pedestrian paths on the existing 1km road link, or whether a new structure would be added by the side of the link.

"The distance of 350m ends at the border with Singapore. However, for Singapore, I'm not sure how long the distance is going to be," Bernama quoted him as saying.

According to Mr Mohd Solihan, pedestrians are actually prohibited on the Johor Causeway, but the authorities have not taken any action against them.

He said Singapore Consulate officials in Johor Baru whom he met had expressed interest in the project, Bernama reported.

 
 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2020, with the headline 'Johor plans covered walkway on Malaysian side of Causeway'. Print Edition | Subscribe