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Only half- a-kilometre of drilling work remains for the Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) Project, said Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) Director-General Datuk Paduka Keizrul Abdullah.

He said the drilling machine “Tuah” was currently operating northward of the city and would penetrate the area in front of the flood retention pond in Kg Berembang, Ampang, at the end of March or early April.

The dual-function tunnel measuring 9.7 km to drain off floodwater, which would also be used as a motorway tunnel for cars from the city heading south and vice-versa, was expected to be fully completed in June, he told reporters after visiting the tunnel, here today.

The three-kilometre two-storey motorway had been completed and was being installed with road signs and safety features such as CCTV and communication facilities so that the road users would be able to receive radio and mobile phone signals, he said.

Keizrul said the motorway was expected to be open to the public in March and they would be able to use it for free for one month after which toll charges would be imposed.

Asked on the toll rate to be charged, he said Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu would make the announcement later.

On other flood alleviation measures in the Klang Valley, Keizrul said that besides the SMART Project, two other flood retention ponds were being built in Batu and Jinjang and a new dam was being constructed in Batu.

He said the Klang Gate Dam was also being raised by another three metres while the Klang River and its tributaries were being deepened.

“So far, 80 percent of the river deepening work had been completed and by 2010, the whole project was expected to be ready and the problem of major floods could be avoided,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said the DID and the Federal Territory Amateur Athletes Association would organise the “SMART Tunnel Run 2007” on March 11 in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the DID, to enable members of the public to experience running in the tunnel.

— BERNAMA