Timothy Tye's Travel Encyclopedia
North-South Expressway, Malaysia

North-South ExpresswayNorth-South Expressway (12 September, 2016)

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The North-South Expressway is the most important expressway in West Malaysia. It is also known as the PLUS Highway. The name PLUS stands for Project Lebuhraya Utara Selatan, or North-South Expressway Project, the company that built the highway. It is managed by Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia. If you are exploring Malaysia by road, you can travel faster from destination to destination using this expressway, expecially if you are travelling along the west coast of the peninsula.

The North-South Expressway comprises the northern route (E1) and the southern route (E2). Linking them is the North-South Expressway Central Link, also known as the ELITE Highway (E6).

E1: North-South Expressway Northern Route


E1: New Klang Valley Expressway


E2: North-South Expressway Southern Route


E6: North-South Expressway Central Link/ELITE


The North-South Expressway is the major artery that links Bukit Kayu Hitam in the northernmost part of Malaysia, to Johor Bahru, at the south. Spanning a full length of 966km, the North-South Expressway provides a vital transportation link for the towns on the west coast of the peninsula.

The North-South Expressway was planning in the mid-1970s. Construction began in 1981. Segments of it were opened from 1988. The entire length was fully operational and opened to traffic on 8 September 1994 by then prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The expressway is managed by PLUS Expressways Berhad. The name PLUS is an acronym for Project Lebuhraya Utara Selatan. Among the major offshoots of the North-South Expressway are the Penang Bridge, New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) and North-South Expressway Central Link (ELITE)

The North-South Expressway comprises the 459-km northern route, E1, and the 310-km southern route, E2. The Menora Tunnel near Jelapang was the longest highway tunnel in Malaysia when it was completed. The tunnel measures 800 meters. The longest bridge on the expressway is Jambatan Sultan Azlan Shah across the Perak River. It is 300 meters long.

PLUS Rest Stop on the North-South ExpresswayPLUS Rest Stop on the North-South Expressway (1 May, 2005)

Rest Areas

To ensure the comfort and safety of motorists, Rest & Service Areas (RSA) are constructed at intervals of between 80-100 km along the North-South Expressway. The Rest Areas on the northbound side of the E1 are at Rawang, Tapah, Sungai Perak, Gunung Semanggol and Gurun, and on the E2 are at Gelang Patah, Machap, Pagoh, Ayer Keroh, Seremban and Dengkil. On the southbound side, the Rest Areas are at Gurun, Gunung Semanggol, Sungai Perak and Ulu Bernam on the E1 and at Dengkil, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Pagoh and Gelang Patah on the E2.

Overhead Restaurants and Viewpoints

There are two overhead bridge restaurants on the North-South Expressway. They are at Sungai Buloh and Ayer Keroh. There are two sites of viewpoints along the expressway where motorists can stop to admire the scenic view. These are at Ipoh northbound, and at Pedas Linggi, north and southbound.


To offer motorists a place to rest, a number of laybys are also provided. These laybys are without any restaurant or service facilities. Most are equipped with telephone. They are located at Kulai, Simpang Renggam, Yong Peng, Tangkak, Kampung Bemban, Pedas Linggi, Senawang, Nilai, Serdang, Sungai Buloh (southbound), Rawang (soundbound), Tanjung Malim, Behrang, Ladang Bikam, Gunung Tempurung (southbound), Simpang Pulai, Bukit Gantang, Taiping, Alor Pongsu, Sungai Bakap, Juru, Tikam Batu, Gurun, Sungai Muda (northbound) and Kepala Batas. Unless otherwise stated, the laybys are located on both sides of the expressway.

List of Expressways in Malaysia; see also Highways in Malaysia

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