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Monday October 7, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday October 7, 2013 MYT 8:09:29 AM
by winnie yeoh
GEORGE TOWN: Three expressways to ease traffic flow in the state will be completed before the 6.5km undersea tunnel is ready.
This was revealed by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng after the signing of a preliminary agreement for the construction of a few major traffic-related projects yesterday.
Under the state’s comprehensive package of traffic management projects totalling RM6.3bil, the 12km Tanjung Bungah-Teluk Bahang paired road is scheduled to be ready by 2018, followed by the 4.6km bypass connecting the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu expressway with Bandar Baru Air Itam by 2019, and the 4.2km bypass connecting Gurney Drive to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway in 2022.
The tunnel connecting Gurney Drive and Butterworth’s Bagan Ajam will be completed by 2025.
Lim said these projects would not only improve Penang’s economy, but also benefit all Malaysians.
“Apart from the multiple job opportunities, the contractors are committed in awarding contracts to Malaysians, especially Penangites,” he said after inking the agreement with Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd, China Railway Construction Corporation International (CRCC), and Beijing Urban Construction Group.
During the ceremony, Zenith also separately signed two agreements with CRCC related to detailed project design, engineering, materials procurement and construction of the tunnel and the three toll-free expressways.
Lim emphasised that although the agreement has been signed, these projects must comply with the recommendations for construction impact mitigation following detailed environmental impact assessments (DEIA).
For this, Penang would appoint an independent company to conduct the DEIA on the four projects.
Meanwhile, Lim added that Barisan Nasional must accept Pakatan Rakyat’s offer to set up a three-person committee to implement reforms that will stop the abuses highlighted in the annual Auditor-General’s Report.
According to him, only a high-powered committee, with the Deputy Prime Minister as chair, as well as the Opposition leader and the Auditor-General, would be able to “put fear into the hearts of those who betray the public trust given to those acting as a custodian of public funds”.
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Government, mega projects, signed, penang government
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