North-South Expressway (NSE), Kedah, Malaysia
The North-South Expressway (NSE) is a 772km expressway in Malaysia. It extends from Bukit Kayu Hitam in Kedah, near the Malaysian-Thai border, to Johor Bahru on the southern Peninsular Malaysia. It is the longest expressway in the country, replacing Old Federal Route 1 as the back bone of the western Peninsular Malaysia.
NSE is also known as the PLUS expressway, named after its operator Projek Lebuhraya Utara Selatan (PLUS). The highway links major cities and towns of the nation and serves as the fastest transport link.
The NSE was completed in 1994 after being constructed in a phased manner over a period of seven years. It was officially inaugurated on 8 September 1994 by Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, the then Malaysian Prime Minister.
Timeline of construction for the North-South Expressway (NSE)
Outlining for the proposed route of the expressway was initiated in 1977. The construction was started in the early 1980s.
The Malaysian Highway Authority administered the construction work on the project until 1988, after which the control was transferred to Projek Lebuhraya Utara Selatan.
The completed sections were subsequently opened for traffic to aid funding for the remaining parts of the project.
Passage and routes of the NSE through the states of Malaysia
The NSE passes through the states of Johor, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor, Perak, Penang and Kedah. The whole length of the highway road is divided into a few main sections.
The 460km long Northern Route is located on the peninsular west coast of the country. It connects Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor. It begins in the state of Kedah and connects with the Phetkasem Road of Thailand. It includes Penang Bridge (E36) which is the longest bridge in Malaysia, Sungai Perak Bridge and the 800m long Menora Tunnel.
This route has major junctions and interchanges at Federal Route 1, Federal Route 194 (the Changlun-Kuala Perlis Highway), Butterworth Outer Ring Road (E17), Penang Bridge (E36), Butterworth-Kulim Expressway (E15), Penang Second Bridge (E22) and Guthrie Corridor Expressway (E35).
The New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) or E1 is the 35km long, busiest stretch of the NSE starting at Bukit Raja near Klang and terminating at Jalan Duta in Kuala Lumpur. The speed limit on this section is 110kmph. It acts as a second link to the capital city of Kuala Lumpur after the Federal Highway.
The North South Expressway Central Link (NSECL), also refereed to as the ELITE Highway, is a 60km stretch between Shah Alam and Negeri Sembilan via Selangor Nilai North. It serves as a bypass to avoid traffic congestion in the capital city.
It was opened to traffic in 1997. It consists of three sections: section 1 stretches from the Shah Alam Interchange to the USJ Interchange, section 2 extends from the USJ Interchange to the Nilai Interchange, and finally section 3 extends from the Putrajaya Interchange to Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
The North South Expressway Southern Route (E2) is a 310km long section which stretches from the southern part of Selangor at Sungai Besi to Johor Bahru, Johor. It passes through four states of Peninsular Malaysia, namely Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor.
Contractors involved in PLUS's North-South Expressway project
Projek Lebuhraya Utara Selatan was the main contractor of the project and was responsible for the construction and maintenance of the NSE.
HSS Engineering was contracted in August 2004 to expand the 14km portion of the NSE between the Ipoh South toll barrier and the Jelapang toll barrier.
Future expansions for the major Malaysian transport road / highway
Malaysia's Government granted $357m of funding to PLUS in 2010 for widening the NSE. The expansion will include widening of certain portions of the New Klang Valley Expressway into four lanes. It is intended to reduce the traffic congestion along the Nilai to Seremban, Shah Alam to Rawang and Shah Alam to Jalan Duta routes.