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Friday, February 20, 2009

Putra Heights interchange opens

KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Property Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sime Darby Bhd, yesterday opened the Putra Heights Interchange, linking the area’s existing population to key townships and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) via the Elite Highway.

The completion of the 3km interchange, which cost Sime Darby Property RM65 million, would cater to the existing 28,000 population of Putra Heights and future residents, said Sime Darby Property’s managing director Datuk Tunku Putra Badlishah. The residential area is expected to have a population of 60,000 residents when it is fully developed by 2016.

The interchange, which adopted a closed-toll system, would lead to Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and the KLIA via the Elite Highway. The Elite Highway is operated by PLUS Expressways Bhd.

Closed-toll systems require users to pay toll charges based on the type of vehicles used and the distance travelled between a point of
entry and exit.

Speaking at the launch of the Putra Heights interchange yesterday, Works Minister Datuk Sri Mohd Zin Mohamed said the interchange would facilitate a smoother traffic flow for residents in the area.

Meanwhile, it was reported that PLUS had proposed to raise toll rates by 5%, where the increase would see the average toll rate to rise to 14.96 sen per km from the current 13.6 sen per km.

When asked on the toll hike, PLUS’ managing director Noorizah Abd Hamid declined to comment, citing that it was “up to the government to decide”.

Under the concession agreement, PLUS was to have a 10% increase in toll rates for three years beginning Jan 1, 2008 up to 2010, or the government would have to compensate the concessionaire. PLUS last raised its toll charges in 2005.

According to Sime Darby Property, the Putra Heights dual carriageway interchange was the second project built and fully funded by the company after a “trumpet” interchange along the Damansara-Puchong expressway, which is adjacent to the UEP Subang Jaya development.

“Putra Heights is an important and successful development for Sime Darby property. Hence we had committed to construct the interchange at our costs even though this was not a requirement by the authorities,” said Tunku Putra Badlishah.

Putra Heights is a freehold development launched in 1999. To date, over 6,400 unit of mixed properties comprising 5,000 double-storey link homes, 56 bungalow lots, 324 shop-offices and some 1,400 units of medium-cost apartments had been built in Putra Heights.

By EDGE Malaysia (Lim Shie-Lynn)

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