Naim appeals to Road Transport Department

Naim Holdings Berhad, a leading Malaysian property developer and construction company, has called on the Road Transport Department to take immediate action against overloaded trucks which are destroying the Selangau-Matadeng road. Naim Engineering recently completed the reconstruction of the road following previous destruction by the trucks and is now seeing the problems rise again.

KUCHING: Trucks overloaded with coal and palm oil are destroying the Selangau- Matadeng road leading to Mukah just more than a year after its commissioning.

Naim Engineering Sdn Bhd which literally reconstructed the road after it was rendered almost unusable for several years by these trucks is appealing to JPJ to clampdown on overloaded trucks plying the road.

In a recent exclusive interview with The Borneo Post, a spokesperson for Naim explained that the road was constructed based on the specifications provided by the government for R5 JKR standards for federal roads or highways with limited access control and speed limits up to 90 kilometres per hour.

Since the completion of the project driving time from Selangau to Mukah has been reduced to about 45 minutes from the previous two to three hours needed for the journey.

However, this condition could not last long as the spokesman said overloaded trucks could damage the road at a factor of between four to five times above normal.

“If the overloading of trucks that ply these roads are not contained the road may be destroyed in less than three years,” he warned.

The spokesperson added that to preserve the road condition, all vehicles using the road must be monitored and controlled to ensure only those that observed the JPJ permissible load consistent with the R5 JKR Road Design standard were permitted.

“We call on JPJ to stringently enforce load carrying capacity on all commercial vehicles using this road so that the road is not subjected to further stress through overloading. In this way, we can slow down its deterioration rate,” he added.

“A recent traffic survey revealed that the northbound traffic volume passing the road was about 1,584 units every 24 hours – while the road was tailored to take the traffic volume and JPJ’s permissible load carrying capacity of 10 tonnes per axle, the road cannot sustain continued usage by overloaded trucks,” the spokesperson added.

It was learned from reliable sources that some of the trucks were overloaded by more than 90 per cent from JPJ’s permissible load.

The spokesman disclosed that Naim had spent an extra RM5 million so far to maintain and repair the 52.4-kilometre road pushing the cost of the entire project beyond its initial estimate.

“However, the root cause of the problem has remained – the usage of the road by overloaded trucks. Even if maintenance is done, the damages will continue.”

Naim has commissioned technical studies and traffic surveys by experts to verify the quality of the road construction and gathered data on the road usage.

“There were comparative studies on the traffic flow and usage done at three different locations on that stretch of road, during different time periods in 2010 and 2012, the most recent being in July 2012. The studies revealed that the number of vehicles plying the road had increased considerably, with trucks accounting for more than 50 per cent on average,” he continued.

“In July 2012, we commissioned Kumpulan IKRAM (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd, a well-known consultant for building and infrastructure, to conduct the Dynamic Cone Penetrometer (DCP) test and Surface Condition survey.

Its report confirmed that we have more than complied with the required specifications and that the pavement structural strength was adequate,” the spokesperson pointed out.