Two years ago, paultan.org posted a video highlighting the dangers of the Federal Highway motorcycle lane. This was followed by promises from the previous government that the lane would be upgraded.

Today, a pilot motorcycle lane tunnel upgrade project was previewed by the Works Department (JKR) to the Works Minister, Tuan Baru Bian, at the Sungai Way tunnel in Jalan 222, Petaling Jaya. This is the first of a series of upgrades to 8.1 km of the motorcycle lane, starting at the Selangor Golf Club to the Kota Darul Ehsan Arch.

The upgrade works also include improved drains as well as lane drainage to alleviate the problem of tunnel flooding. The tunnel entry, tunnel itself and exit are now coated in anti-skid paint with a skid number of 60 SN, twice the usual requirement of 30 to 35 SN, along with reflective chevrons and signage to increase visibility.

Painted in three colours, the anti-skid paint is red at the tunnel entrance to warn riders to slow down, blue inside the tunnel proper and green at the exit to signify that riders can now accelerate back to the speed limit.

There are a total of 14 tunnels along the entire 28.5 kilometre stretch of the Federal Highway motorcycle lane, in- and out-bound, with certain areas previously under the care of highway concessionaires and town councils handed back to JKR in January this year. Two tunnels – in- and out-bound from Kuala Lumpur – on the motorcycle lane at Jalan 222 will be closed and replaced by fly-overs, due to be opened in October.

In addition, two more tunnels located at Nanyang Siang Pau and Jalan Utara heading towards Kuala Lumpur will be upgraded as part of the next phase of works. Upgrading works will be carried out in stages by JKR and no completion date was given.

Speaking on the dangers of the motorcycle lane, specifically the design and size, Baru said, “we are constrained by the space available, as there is no room to expand the lanes or construct proper entries and exits.” Baru advised riders using the motorcycle lane to exercise caution and ride to the posted speed limit.