CONSTRUCTION of the proposed 5.7km paired road from Air Itam to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway in Gelugor, Penang, may be delayed till next year because of a need to take a closer look at the rainwater dispersal system.
It was initially targeted to begin this year. However, it is learnt that a deeper study on how stormwater would be channelled out of the new road is needed before the environmental impact assessment (EIA) gets a stamp of approval from the Department of Environment.
A source said because 4.1km of this road would be elevated, winding from Jalan Kampung Pisang in Air Itam along foothills to Bukit Gambier, the amount of water funnelling out of the highway and onto the land collected during a storm has to be managed.
Its initial target date of completion was by end of 2018. However, the new completion date could now be pushed to 2019.
This is one of three roads in Penang island that Consortium Zenith BUCG will build before working on the undersea tunnel between the island and north Butterworth by 2025. It will provide an alternative route for Air Itam residents who work in the Bayan Lepas industrial area.
It will have three interchanges for motorists to get on and off it from Lebuhraya Thean Teik, Jalan Yeap Chor Ee and Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah and the speed limit will be 70km/h.
When contacted, state Works Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng said the EIA consultant, an independent body appointed by the state, had yet to complete the project’s report.
“The rainwater dispersal system is just one of the elements being studied. There is still a lot of preliminary work to be done such as vetting and securing contractors and raw materials,” Lim said.
The other two roads are from Teluk Bahang to Tanjung Bungah, and from Gurney Drive (at the Pangkor Road end) to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway (at Jalan Sungai Pinang).