Last updated Thursday, July 31, 2014 11:15am

PETALING JAYA, Jan 1 — The concessionaire of the controversial new highway in the Klang Valley — Sungai Besi-Hulu Kelang Expressway (SUKE) — has confirmed it is conducting soil tests in Ampang.

The Malay Mail was alerted by readers that the concessionaire, Projek Lintasan Kota Holdings Sdn Bhd (Prolintas), was conducting soil tests at several spots on the proposed site.

A company spokesman, who declined to be named, said officers were conducting soil tests in Ampang, but details of the project were still being discussed at the state and federal levels.

“The Works Ministry has directed us to conduct technical tests at the site, including the soil makeup,” he said.

“There is no new development for the project at the moment. We must fulfil technical requirements of the ministry before construction works could begin.

“For the overall highway alignment, we are still discussing possible options with the Selangor government.”

The spokesman said no date had been fixed for construction.

Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA) director-general Datuk Ismail Salleh said the status quo remained as no decision had been made.

“The concessionaire is still conducting studies,” he said, adding the government had principally approved the project.

“But whether it can be built or realigned still depended on the outcome of the discussions.”

Chempaka constituency facilitator Jean Lee Shok Jing said the project had been brought back to the Selangor State Economic Planning Unit (UPEN) for a revision of its alignment.

Lee, a former Ampang Jaya councillor, said the state had asked the concessionaire to re-study its route alignment.

The 31.8km SUKE, with 12 interchanges, will run from Sungai Besi to the Duta-Ulu Klang Expressway (DUKE) in Setiawangsa to reduce traffic snarls on the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2). 

The highway will also serve as an alternative route to the MRR2.

The highway will cut across Sri Petaling, Taman Connaught (Cheras), Cheras Hartamas, Taman Putra and Taman Melawati. 

According to earlier reports, the engineering plan of the proposed RM4.75 billion highway had been finalised, except for toll charges. 

The reports said the project was expected to cover 385.6 hectares of land. This includes private land consisting of 200 hectares and 152 hectares of government land. The remaining 34 hectares will be from forest and river reserves.

Former Works Minister Datuk Seri Shaziman Abu Mansor had said SUKE was needed because traffic volume at the MRR2 was expected to reach 180,000 to 200,000 vehicles, exceeding the original 120,000 daily capacity.