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Monday, 3 March 2014

Eager to be the early birds to cross the new bridge

Scenic spot: People flocking to an open space near the second Penang bridge’s entrance in Batu Maung to take photos.

Scenic spot: People flocking to an open space near the second Penang bridge’s entrance in Batu Maung to take photos.

GEORGE TOWN: Eager to be among the first batch of road users to officially use the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge, engineer Tan Kham Wei waited at the Batu Maung interchange here for more than 14 hours.

The 27-year-old, who was among the many motorcyclists clustered at the interchange just before it opened, said he did not mind waiting in the blistering heat just to ensure he was among the first.

“I have been waiting since 8am but to ride along the second bridge for the first time with these other motorists is worth the wait,” said Tan, who lives in Batu Kawan on the mainland.

He said it would be much easier for him to travel to work now that the bridge was open.

Among the motorists who had been waiting in Batu Maung was D. Hariander, 30, who said he had been excited about crossing the bridge since last week.

Beaming with pride while he waited in his car, the businessman said Penang had now added another attraction to its already vast tourism sites.

“Being part of the first batch to cross this bridge personally adds more historical value for me where I can tell it to my grandchildren,” he said.

Over on the mainland, businessman Loh Nam Ang, 41, from Nibong Tebal, said he arrived at the toll plaza at 1.30pm.

“We came very early to make sure that we will be one of the early birds among the 1,000 cars to cross through,” he said.

The first 1,000 vehicles crossing the bridge from the Batu Kawan interchange received certificates from bridge concessionaire Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd.

Enthusiastic motorists waiting to cross the bridge were caught in a massive jam while waiting for the bridge to open. By 11.30pm, the jam had stretched to as far as 3km on both the island and mainland.

The bridge was supposed to open by 12.01am today but motorists were delayed for about an hour before they were allowed to proceed as clean-up works following the launching ceremony had to be completed first for safety reasons.

It is learnt that the clean-up works were to remove debris from the fireworks display.

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Tags / Keywords: Government , Nation , Second Penang Bridge


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