The West Coast Expressway (WCE), which will connect Banting in Selangor to Taiping in Perak, is now 35% completed and will be open to traffic in 2019, Bernama reports.

The progress report was given by the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) director-general Datuk Ismail Md Salleh, who said that the development of the 233 km highway, of which construction started in 2014, was progressing on schedule. There are 11 phases.

“Phase 4 of the project, from Federal Route to New North Klang Straits Bypass and phase 8, from Hutan Melintang to Teluk Intan are scheduled to be completed and opened in early 2019,” he said, adding that other phases were also expected to be fully completed by 2019, except for phase 7B involving the last 10 km of the Tanjung Karang route and phase 11 involving the Changkat Jering/Taiping connection.

Ismail revealed that the project cost RM5.04 billion, with RM980 million set aside for land acquisition handled by the concessionaire, West Coast Expressway Sdn Bhd.

“This project will provide the best alternative route for road users in avoiding congestion particularly during festive seasons,” he said, adding that WCE can potentially spur economic growth in coastal towns.