Wa­ter-filled bar­ri­ers: Boon or bane?

The Borneo Post - - HOME - By Karen Bong re­porters@the­bor­neo­post.com

KUCH­ING: The red, white or or­ange plas­tic bar­ri­cades, or com­monly known as wa­ter­filled bar­ri­ers, which are in­tended for safety en­hance­ment in con­struc­tion ar­eas can be dan­ger­ous if they were not used cor­rectly and prop­erly.

Bear in mind that at­ti­tude of dis­cour­te­ous and in­dif­fer­ent mo­torists can make a bad sit­u­a­tion worse.

The stretch at Mile 13 Kuch­ingSe­rian road is tem­po­rar­ily af­fected by an on-go­ing con­struc­tion work to widen the road and ease traf­fic flow. The wa­ter- filled bar­ri­ers used ei­ther to re­di­rect, sep­a­rate or de­lin­eate traf­fic, pro­tect pedes­tri­ans, pro­vide vis­i­bil­ity pres­ence or for other safety pur­poses can be seen placed along the stretch.

A res­i­dent of the area, Ralph Balan, who plies the route to and fro Kuch­ing daily, said the wa­ter­filled bar­ri­ers were a ne­ces­sity as well as a prob­lem be­cause they could move if they were not prop­erly weighted down.

“They are a great hazard to road users be­cause many are known to have ‘oc­cu­pied’ half of the road,” he told The Bormeo Post via email yes­ter­day.

Ralph shared his night­mare driv­ing along the stretch Tues­day even­ing, which was made worse due to a heavy down­pour and a crawl­ing traf­fic.

“Ini­tially, I thought the traf­fic was mov­ing slowly be­cause of the rain, but as I drove along, the cause of the slow traf­fic flow was due to the wa­ter bar­rier fences which oc­cu­pied about half of the road.

“For a reg­u­lar road user who is fa­mil­iar with that sec­tion of the road, I was able to nav­i­gate around the bar­ri­ers safely (at snail’s pace un­for­tu­nately). I just hope that other driv­ers who rarely use that part of the road to be aware of the is­sue, es­pe­cially dur­ing a heavy down­pour and low vis­i­bil­ity.

“I un­der­stand the ne­ces­sity for those bar­ri­ers and for the road con­struc­tion, but is it done in a proper man­ner? I hope there are sched­uled safety checks con­ducted from time-to-time.

“I be­lieve Welfield Ser­vices Sdn Bhd (WSSB) is the main con­trac­tor work­ing on this sec­tion of the road. Sadly, I was not able to call them be­cause they do not have a hot­line and an of­fice num­ber in the web­site.”

Ralph called Tal­iKhid­mat but doubted if they could act on the sit­u­a­tion but a com­plaint has been fi led with pho­tos as ev­i­dence.

“I hope the man­age­ment of Pan Bor­neo Highway and WSSB will se­ri­ously take ac­tion on this and for the rel­e­vant govern­ment de­part­ments and agen­cies to mon­i­tor. This is a gen­uinely dan­ger­ous road con­di­tion and a big risk to all road users,” he said.

A com­plaint was also for­warded to Padawan Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil ( PMC) chair­man Lo Khere Chi­ang, Welfield Ser­vices Sdn Bhd, Le­buhraya Bor­neo Utara, Works Min­istry and Public Works De­part­ment, he added.

Mean­while, Le­buhraya Bor­neo Utara in their email re­ply clar­i­fied that the sec­tion of road af­fected by the con­struc­tion work was not un­der their nor their con­trac­tors’ purview.

The LBU’s sec­tion for the Kuch­ing- Se­rian road stretch is be­tween Mile 6 and 10, and from Se­rian round­about to Pantu.

Lo mean­while could not be reached for his com­ments yes­ter­day.

The 86ix­ers motto, as their pres­i­dent Joseph Lau (fifth from left) hands over the ban­ners for Fri­day night’s event to Tiong (sev­enth from left) one of the pro­pri­etors of 101 Café who is also a for­mer Sacred Heart stu­dent.

(From left) Moh, Ho and Lau with the prizes they won in a public speak­ing con­test.

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