The E22 is a 77km expressway linking Senai in Johor’s west coast to the industrial town of Pasir Gudang in the south and the coastal resort of Desaru in the east. The expressway is well positioned in the Iskandar Development Region and is expected to be the catalyst for development for the state’s less developed eastern corridor by linking it to the industrial and commercial hubs in the west.
Previously, the Johor Bahru-Kota Tinggi Highway (Federal Route 3) and Pengerang Highway (Federal Route 92) was the only gateway to Desaru, with a typical journey of 2.5 hours. With using Senai-Desaru Expressway (E22) the travel time is reduced to a 45 minutes journey from Senai (west) to Desaru (east).
The construction of the expressway began in 2005 was led by Senai-Desaru Expressway Berhad with the main contractor, Ranhill Engineers & Constructors Sdn Bhd. Phase 1 of the expressway linking Senai to Pasir Gudang was opened to traffic on 10 September 2009, with the remaining stretch from Pasir Gudang to Desaru, including the bridge, was opened on June 10, 2011.
The tolled expressway is a combination of a four-lane dual carriageway (Senai-Cahaya Baru section) and a two-lane single carriageway (Cahaya Baru-Penawar section), which improves road connection between western and eastern Johor. It features a closed toll system like the North-South Expressway. It is also be an alternative route to Desaru Beach, instead of Federal Route 3 and 92 from Johor Bahru and Singapore. The highway has become the main access road to Desaru from North-South Expressway Southern Route E2 and a major road link to Senai International Airport from Kota Tinggi and eastern parts of Johor. Construction of the road included the 1.7 kilometre Sungai Johor-SDE Bridge, the longest single plane cable stayed bridge in Malaysia across Johor River, which became the longest river bridge in Malaysia after Raja Pemaisuri Bainun Bridge (Sungai Dinding Bridge) in Perak.
The section between Cahaya Baru and Penawar is built as a two-lane expressway (except the Sungai Johor-SDE bridge) while retaining the full access control, making the section as the first true two-lane expressway with full access control in Malaysia.
There is a water catchment area located along Sungai Layang sections near the Sultan Iskandar Reservoir. E22 traverses through the environmentally sensitive water catchment area of Layang Reservoir. E22 is the only expressway in Malaysia which features the Pollutant Removal System (PRS). E22 took one step higher by introducing the PRS to monitor and controll any potential impact to the water quality in Layang Reservoir in the event of a spillage of dangerous and hazardous chemicals from any vehicle travelling on the expressway.