Gearing up for bypass works

A hydraulic excavator placed at the open area along Jalan Bukit Gambir for the start of the Ayer Itam–Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass project. — Photos: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

PREPARATIONS are ongoing for works on Section 1 of the Ayer Itam-Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass at Thean Tek Avenue in Bandar Baru Ayer Itam.

Penang infrastructure committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the construction company involved had been moving its machinery to the site to kick off the project.

“A hydraulic excavator, bulldozer, soil compactor, dump truck and piling machine arrived in two batches on Tuesday, ” he said when contacted.

“Next to come will be the bored pile, mobile crane, crawler crane, roller compactor, road paving machine, tendon roller, backhoe loader and concrete mixer truck.

“The construction company is keeping the machinery at an open area along Jalan Bukit Gambir.

“The starting date of the project is set for Feb 1.

“Construction workers and project consultants will be mobilised as well, ” he said.

Two bulldozers at the open area near Ashley Green (background).Two bulldozers at the open area near Ashley Green (background).

Zairil added that during the movement control order period, construction of public infrastructure is allowed to go on.

On Monday, The Star reported that the construction of the bypass would start on Feb 1 and completion was scheduled for Jan 3,2025.

An agreement signing ceremony was held in Komtar between the state government and Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC), which is the design and build contractor of the three major roads and undersea tunnel project.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow signed the supplemental agreement to the sub-agreement in relation to the construction of the bypass on behalf of the state government while CZC board member Tan Sri Dr Khor Eng Chuen signed on behalf of the company.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by State Secretary Datuk Abdul Razak Jaafar and CZC board member Datuk Lee Chee Hoe.

The 6km toll-free road will have 1.8km on the ground and the other parts elevated.

The Package Two alignment and two other road projects are part of the island traffic dispersal system of the proposed Penang Undersea Tunnel, a 6.5km tunnel beneath the seabed between Gurney Drive on the island and Bagan Ajam in Butterworth.

The bypass will consist of three interchanges — Lebuhraya Thean Tek, Jalan Bukit Gambir-Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah junction and Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway, which will involve a ‘left in-left out’ access and an elevated U-turn.

Upon completion, the bypass is expected to reduce travelling time and bring long-term benefits to Penangites, especially the 300,000 people residing in Ayer Itam, Bandar Baru Ayer Itam and the adjoining Paya Terubong.

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