Projects going full steam ahead

The new seawall coming up along the coastline.

A SLIGHT delay is expected in the completion of the Esplanade seawall upgrade due to the Covid-19 pandemic, said Jagdeep Singh Deo.

The Penang local government committee chairman said although work was moving on as scheduled, a delay in completing the work could not be avoided.

The children’s playground with barricade separating it from the project site.The children’s playground with barricade separating it from the project site.

This was because the project had to be halted when the movement control order (MCO) was imposed on March 18.

“The completion date scheduled for August 2021 will be moved for a further few months, ” he said, adding that a statement would be issued on the work progress in due time.

In August 2018, The Star reported that an upgrading work would be carried out on the popular Esplanade seawall to protect it from raging waves.

Work on the RM13.6mil project would take place along a 420m- stretch between Medan Renong food court and the Royal Malaysian Navy base.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said that the project was necessary as years of pounding by giant waves had taken its toll on the seawall.

Protective sheet piling to protect against further erosion will make up the bulk of the upgrading work.

A new feature called rock revetment is being used to disperse the energy generated by the crashing waves against the seawall with a drain being built behind the new wall.

An excavator digging earth at the seawall project site at the Esplanade in George Town.An excavator digging earth at the seawall project site at the Esplanade in George Town.

This will enable seawater to flow into the drain before it flows back into the sea in the event of a big wave.

The project is being managed by George Town Conservation Development Corporation in collaboration with the state government, Penang Island City Council (MBPP), Think City and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

MBPP is funding RM10.8mil of the cost while the cost for consultancy work prior to the start of the project was funded by Think City.

The repair and upgrading effort is part of the North Seafront masterplan, which is a comprehensive project divided into 10 zones including Dewan Sri Pinang, the two food courts, Fort Cornwallis, the clock tower and the town hall and city hall.

On restoration and upgrading works for the iconic 140-year-old Town Hall, MBPP councillor Wong Yuee Harng said the RM8mil project was going on as planned with scheduled completion in December next year.

“There has been no hiccups on the works being carried out despite the implementation of the MCO and conditional MCO, ” he said.

The Town Hall undergoing restoration at the Esplanade.The Town Hall undergoing restoration at the Esplanade.

The project, expected to be completed in 18 months, involved a total makeover to restore the building to its original shape.

It is classified under Category I of the George Town Unesco World Heritage site.

The works involved repairing the roof structure, the floor structure, the stairs, and poles, and repainting the entire building besides redesigning the interior space.

There will also be infrastructure works, including site cleaning and ground works, mechanical and technical works, water piping and sanitary works.

The Town Hall used to house the Municipal Commission of George Town, the predecessor to the present MBPP before it moved to the City Hall next door in 1903.

It was last restored in 2004 at a cost of RM4.5mil and renovations were also done in 1890,1903,1938 and 1991.

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