THE country’s first spiral bridge for bicycles and pedestrians is now open to the public.
One of Penang’s latest iconic structures, the Jambatan Harapan was created for cyclists to cross the Bayan Lepas Expressway and reach Lebuhraya Sungai Nibong and the Bayan Baru roundabout at Krystal Point.
Besides the bridge which is about 600m (from the ramp up to the ramp down) in length, the RM8.9mil project also features a 3m-wide bicycle lane and 1.5m-wide pedestrian lane.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said since 2008, the state government had carried out many projects to encourage cycling and turn Penang into a cycling state.
“The bicycle path master plan drawn in 2010 comprises about 180km of bicycle lanes on the island to be created in stages by 2020.
“So far, 95% of the plan spanning 171km has been successfully created.
“One of the main parts is the Coastal Cycling Route from Tanjung Tokong via George Town to the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge,” he said at the launch of the spiral bridge in Bayan Lepas on Sunday.
Chow said so far, 37.3km out of 39.3km of the Coastal Cycling Route had been completed.
“This spiral bicycle and pedestrian bridge near Queensbay Mall is one of the components of the route.
“This is to encourage more people to cycle and enjoy the view from the spiral bridge.
“The cost was funded by the city council,” he said, adding that work on the bridge began on July 18, 2016, and was completed on May 17.
Chow hoped Penang would become a state where cycling will be the mode of transport as well as a leisure activity.
Also present were Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, state exco member Jagdeep Singh Deo and Penang Island City Council mayor Yew Tung Seang.