The North-South Expressway from Bukit Kayu Hitam to Johor Bahru (NSE)
The North-South Expressway (NSE), a 772-km expressway extending from the border of Thailand in the north to the border of Singapore in the south, plays a major role in serving the needs of the road transportation industry for the coming decades. Constructed in phases over a period of seven years (from 1988 to 1995), the North-South Expressway was completed 15 months ahead of schedule and was fully operational by February 1994. It was officially opened on September 8 1994 by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato' Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, signalling the coming of age of Malaysia's road transportation system. The North-South Expressway starts at Bukit Kayu Hitam and ends in Johor Bahru, linking all major cities on the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia between Thailand and Singapore. In addition, three other adjoining expressways complete the total 847.7 km of inter-urban toll highways referred to collectively as the North-South Expressway under PLUS' concession, namely the North Klang Valley Expressway, Federal Highway Route 2 and the Seremban-Port Dickson Highway.
The immediate benefits of the project were most evident in reductions in congestion and travelling time experienced by expressway users, especially during festive seasons when the traditional "balik kampung" phenomenon manifests itself in the form of peak traffic volumes as Malaysians return to their hometowns to celebrate the holidays. Other benefits in the form of economic development were perhaps less apparent in the early years but became more and more visible as new townships and industrial parks began to take shape along the length of the expressway and trade and tourism enjoyed a new era of growth. Today, the North-South Expressway connects to other major expressways such as the North-South Expressway Central Link (NSECL) and the Malaysia-Singapore Second Crossing (MSSC), enhancing even further the level of accessibility to the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia via major ports of entry into the country.