KUALA LUMPUR: Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd (JKSB) aims to recover the construction cost of RM4.5bil for the Second Penang Bridge within 10 years of the bridge operation.
Its managing director, Datuk Dr Ismail Mohamed Taib, was positive that the construction cost would be recovered within the timeframe due to rapid development in the surrounding areas.
He also noted that the Batu Kawan and Balik Pulau areas would benefit from the Second Penang Bridge as economic activities become more focused in the districts with the new bridge.
"The (Federal) government wants the development in the Penang state to be balanced. Currently, it is concentrated on the north of Penang, which is George Town and Butterworth," he told Bernama.
The Second Penang Bridge, which connects Batu Kawan on the mainland and Batu Maung on the island, when completed by September 2013 will be the longest in Southeast Asia with a total length over water of 16.9 km.
It will be a seismic-resistant bridge when completed, able to withstand tremors of a 8.2 Richter-scale earthquake with an epicentre about 300km away.
JKSB targets to achieve 90 per cent progress by the end of 2012 and expects the bridge to be open to the public by November 2013, said Ismail.
He said the company is depending on the toll collection for its revenue and expects an average of 25,000 users on the second bridge per day.
"We only get 20 per cent of the traffic from the first Penang bridge. We would like to increase the share by 15 per cent annually," he said.
On toll rates, Ismail said the toll rate for the Second Penang Bridge is likely to be set at RM7.
"In the concessionaire agreement, we have to make sure the toll for the Second Penang Bridge and the first Penang Bridge is the same," he said.
JKSB was established in July 2008 as the concessionare for the second Penang bridge and is wholly-owned by Ministry of Finance Inc.
The company is responsible for the construction, management, operation and maintenance of the Second Penang Bridge.
The project is divided into three phases, with the first costing RM2.2 billion, the second RM1.55 billion, and the third RM750 million. - Bernama