SUKE construction giving us sleepless nights, say residents

A view of the construction work on the SUKE project taken from Taman Bukit Mandarina this morning. Residents say they were told work will not be carried out during weekends.

KUALA LUMPUR: Residents along Jalan Alam Damai are having sleepless nights, no thanks to the “endless” noise from work on the nearby Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Expressway (SUKE).

They say construction is being carried out even at night – against a promise that it will not happen.

SUKE is a 24.4km, three-lane elevated expressway that will link Sri Petaling to Ulu Kelang. It will have 14 interchanges reaching out to over 60 residential areas as well as connecting major highways and roads in Kuala Lumpur.

The residents want the contractors to explain why construction is taking place well past 6pm and why it is being carried out even on Sundays and public holidays.

Peter Goh, from Taman Bukit Mandarina Phase 1, said the residents have been putting up with noise from bore piling rigs for the last few months.

He said the vibrations caused by the rigs, which dig deep into the ground to provide foundation for the highway, are felt “hundreds of metres” away.

The maximum exposure to noise exceeding 91 dB (decibels) should be two hours a day, he said, otherwise hearing damage can occur.

“But we have managed to get a reading of around 93 dB from the nearest house, which is about 150m away,” he told FMT.

Goh said piling work is also done on Sundays and on public holidays, “so residents do not earn a respite from the noise throughout the week”.

He noted, however, that work has stopped at night at the construction site behind Taman Bukit Mandarina Phase 1 after complaints by residents. But it is still being continued in other areas, he said.

The affected areas include Taman Bukit Mandarina Second Enclave, Altitude 236 Condominium, Taman Alam Damai Merawan and parts of Taman Len Seng.

David Loh, who stays at Altitude 236 Condominium, which faces the front of the highway, said he has recorded readings of 89 dB to 94 dB.

He said he has also heard complaints from other residents that they are unable to get a good night’s sleep.

Colin Stuart, a resident at Taman Bukit Mandarina Second Enclave, claimed that concrete casting works had been carried out from 1.30am to 5.30am during the past week.

He said a subcontractor had promised in March last year not to carry out any “noisy” construction work near the Second Enclave after 5pm after residents sent in a letter of complaint.

They had kept the promise until recently when the concrete casting work started, Stuart said.

While officials from Projek Lintasan Kota Sdn Bhd (Prolintas), the main contractor, claimed that they have told their subcontractors to stick to the agreed time frame, work is carrying on at “odd hours”, residents say.

Goh said mitigation measures such as placing sound barriers would have been included in the Environmental Impact Assessment for the project.

“We would like to know whether the main contractor has taken such measures,” he said.

FMT has reached out to Prolintas for comments and is awaiting their response.