Thursday, December 12, 2013

2nd Penang bridge to be opened in Feb 2014

Works Minister Datuk Fadilah Yusof inspect the Second Penang Bridge. Pix by Danial Saad.

GEORGE TOWN: The RM4.5 billion Second Penang Bridge is expected to be opened to public in February next year.

Works Minister Datuk Fadilah Yusof said the ministry would approve the opening of the longest bridge in Southeast Asia when it passes every requirement set by the Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA).

Fadilah said the two key factors for the go-ahead would depend on the bridge's physical structure's completion and the integration of its toll system with the North-South Expressway.

"The bridge is 99.9 per cent complete while construction works on the two toll plazas in Batu Kawan are on-going.

“I would say our ministry is ready to allow the bridge to be opened in February, " he told reporters after a site visit on the 24km bridge today.

He added the final date for the official opening had not been fixed.

Fadilah said the 28-booth toll plaza at the Bandar Cassia interchange in Batu Kawan would be the biggest of its kind in Malaysia.

He said the toll plaza construction was slightly behind schedule due to structure revision.

Fadilah said the toll plaza was extended to improve its operating capacity to accommodate more vehicles.

"Road users'  safety must be in place along the whole structure to be certified by consultants and relevant authorities before the bridge can be opened to the public," Fadilah said.

The Second Penang Bridge which connects Batu Maung pn the island to Batu Kawan on the mainland serves as a second crossing after the first Penang Bridge was opened in 1985.

It is designed to withstand earthquakes of up to 7.5 on the Richter scale.

*Taken from NST Online

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