Malaysia’s Central Spine Road: Here’s All You Need to Know

The Central Spine Road (CSR) is currently one of the most significant road projects in Peninsular Malaysia. After completion, it will connect Kelantan and Negeri Sembilan, thus reducing the travel time between the north and south of the peninsula. 

With it potentially benefiting millions of road users, we understand you must be excited to know more about the Central Spine Road in Malaysia. That’s why we’ve compiled some interesting facts about it below.

What is The Central Spine Road in Malaysia?

Central Spine Road JKR

Malaysia’s Central Spine Road, also known as Federal Route 43 is a 350-kilometer expressway that connects Kuala Krai, Kelantan in the north to Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan in the south of Peninsular Malaysia. It is a four-lane expressway with two lanes on each side and is toll-free. 

Read More: Toll Rates in Malaysia for Popular Highways from PLUS to LPT

This expressway will act as an alternative to the two-lane Federal Route 8 Gua Musang Expressway and the Federal Route 9 Karak-Tampin Expressway.

The CSR comprises six building phases, also known as packages. Four of these packages, spanning over 200 kilometers, are in Pahang. The construction of the CSR began with Package 3 at the section from Merapoh to Kampung Relong. Here are the six CSR packages.

Package Connecting Locations Distance State
1 Kuala Krai to Sungai Lakit Bridge 47 km Kelantan
2 Sungai Lakit Bridge to Gua Musang 59 km Kelantan
3 Gua Musang to Kampung Relong 92.5 km Pahang
4 Kampung Relong to Raub 50 km Pahang
5 Raub to Bentong 54 km Pahang
6 Bentong to Simpang Pelangai 47.5 km Pahang

As of 2022, the construction on Packages 3 and 5 is close to completion, while the full completion of the Central Spine Road is scheduled for 2026. The timeline was pushed back by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and utility issues in some areas, though the project is now progressing according to schedule.

Main Exits Along the Central Spine Road

There are 14 main entrances/exits built along the CSR, listed below from north to south.

  1. Kuala Krai
  2. Sungai Lakit
  3. Gua Musang
  4. Mentara
  5. Kubang Rusa (access to Kenyir Lake)
  6. Kubang Rusa (access to Cameron Highland)
  7. Sungai Yu
  8. Chegar Perah
  9. Felda Telang
  10. Kampung Relong
  11. Bentong
  12. Mempaga
  13. Kuala Lumpur-Karak (access to Genting Highlands)
  14. Simpang Pelangai

Read More: Road & Safety Sign Boards in Malaysia: What Do They Mean?

Central Spine Road exit at Bentong

Exit from the KL-Karak highway into the CSR at Bentong

Central Spine Road Features

The CSR has several advanced features to ensure it is safe and sturdy. As it runs between the Titiwangsa Mountain Range and the National Park (Taman Negara), its construction must also account for the safety of the surrounding wildlife.

Built According to the JKR R5 Standard

For starters, it is built based on the JKR R5 Standard which allows vehicles to drive safely on the road at speeds of up to 90 km/h. With average driving speeds, road users can expect to cut their north-south travel time from seven to five hours.

Read More: Car Camping in Malaysia: Essential Supplies & Top Camping Spots to Visit

Sungai Yu Eco Viaduct to Protect the Wildlife

CSR eco viaduct info

Package 3 of the CSR has an Eco Viaduct that acts as a wildlife crossing between the Titiwangsa Mountain Range and the National Park without stepping foot on the expressway. It is called the Sungai Yu Eco Viaduct and is located in Section 3F1 of the CSR, between Kampung Kubang Rusa to Sungai Yu. There are three elevated stretches of road, also known as Eco Bridges in this Eco Viaduct system.

Advanced Pavement Technology

The roads in Package 3 also contain continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP). This type of pavement is more resistant to large cracks and can last up to 30 years with only minimal maintenance. The production of this pavement costs more than conventional pavements as it also needs to be produced by imported German machines. That said, its advantages outweigh the costs in the long term.

Benefits of the Central Spine Road

CSR Mempaga Roundabout

The CSR Mempaga Roundabout connecting Mempaga, Bentong, Sertik, and Lebu

The CSR provides an important travel route for travelers from all over Peninsular Malaysia as it will shorten the travel time from the south including from Kuala Lumpur and Bentong to the north. 

Additionally, the Simpang Pelangai junction south of Bentong will be a vital exit, especially for travelers heading south. It will enable road users to travel to the south through Negeri Sembilan without entering Kuala Lumpur. This can greatly reduce the travel time besides easing the congestion in the Klang Valley as well.

Read More: Tips on Maintaining Your Car’s Windshield Wipers

Easing Congestion in Local Towns

Besides that, the CSR will also help free up roads in surrounding towns, especially in Bentong during the holiday season, as travelers usually need to drive through Bentong town to go up north. 

Further benefiting the community, the Bentong Bypass shortens the travel time for the local community by cutting the distance between Bentong and Kampung Mempaga from 30 kilometers to 12 kilometers, and travel time from 45 to only 20 minutes. 

Connecting Local Tourist Destinations & Businesses

Other than shortening the travel time for travelers on business and “balik kampung” road trips, the CSR helps to connect various important landmarks. This can help drive the local economy and boost tourism. Here are some travel destinations along the CSR worth noting:

  • Gua Musang town, Kelantan
  • Lake Kenyir, Terengganu
  • Lojing Highlands, Kelantan
  • The National Park, Pahang
  • UITM Raub, Pahang
  • The Malayan Tiger Trail – it runs along the length of the CSR
  • Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre, Pahang

Choose CARSOME Certified for Peace of Mind

If you’re looking for a quality car for your next road trip, check out CARSOME. All CARSOME Certified cars undergo a strict 175-point inspection to rule out major accident and flood damage.

We also professionally refurbish each car to ensure its safety and comfort besides giving it refurbished aesthetics. Furthermore, each car comes with a fixed price and no hidden fees, a one-year warranty, and a five-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked.

Visit CARSOME to find your dream car today!