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Published: Wednesday October 3, 2012 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Sunday June 2, 2013 MYT 1:58:54 PM

Construction of second Penang span 84% finished

GEORGE TOWN: Construction of the second Penang Bridge is surging ahead of schedule, with 84% of the project completed.

Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd construction director Hamizol Ngah said work was about 2% ahead of plan as of Sept 20.

“We are two months ahead of schedule from the September 2013 deadline.

“We aim to have 90% of the bridge completed by end of the year,” he said in a briefing for state officials at the China Harbour Engineering Co Ltd (M) Sdn Bhd (CHEC) office in Batu Maung.

Hamizol said if work continued as planned, the two ends of the bridge would converge at the main navigation span in early April next year.

The 24km bridge will then be on record as the longest bridge in South-East Asia.

Hamizol said the bridge would have a lifespan of 120 years and the ability to withstand earthquakes up to 7.5 on the Richter scale by using the “High Damping Rubber Bearing” system.

State Public Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng, who was present at the briefing, said two traffic dispersal projects on the island end of the bridge were expected to kick off next year.

“The Federal Government had approved RM262mil to upgrade the coastal road (Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway) from the entrance of the second bridge to the mouth of the first Penang Bridge.

“Aside from that, RM161mil has been allocated to upgrade roads leading south to Teluk Kumbar from the Batu Maung Interchange.”

He said both projects were expected to be completed about a year after the second bridge opened to traffic in September next year.

“We expect about 30% of the first bridge's traffic (70,000 vehicles per day) to move to the second bridge, so we think traffic will be manageable until the two upgrading projects are completed,” he said.

He also said the state had been informed that CHEC, one of the contractors for the second bridge, was not involved in the building of the Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge that collapsed in China on Aug 24.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had previously called for an immediate safety audit on the second bridge following speculation that China Communications and Construction Company Ltd, the parent company of CHEC, was the contractor of the collapsed bridge in Heilongjiang province.

Tags / Keywords: Nation, News, September 2013, deadline, second Penang Bridge, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, Batu Maung, Teluk Kumbar, Government

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