Cable repair on bridge may take three months

Zairil (centre) and TNB officials inspecting the site of the cable fire under the Penang Bridge.

IT will take up to three months for Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) to repair the power cable at KM3.2 of the Penang Bridge which caught fire twice earlier, said Zairil Khir Johari.

The state infrastructure committee chairman said the completion would depend on the hours allotted to TNB on a daily basis.

“Repairs have not started yet, as TNB has been spending the past two days on forensic analysis.

“They will close one lane on each side of the bridge when repair works begin.

“It should not be too bad for traffic but there will definitely be a bottleneck on the bridge, ” he said, adding that there are three lanes on each side of the bridge.

Yesterday morning, mainland-bound traffic came to a standstill due to inspection works being carried out on the bridge where a power cable underneath had caught fire on Monday.

The fire incident at KM3.2 damaged three circuits, causing a brief electricity supply disruption for about 35sec before it was restored.

The fire caused black smoke to billow out from the median of the bridge.

Traffic along Tun Lim Chong Eu Expressway from George Town reduced to a crawl due to the lane closure on Penang Bridge yesterday morning.Traffic along Tun Lim Chong Eu Expressway from George Town reduced to a crawl due to the lane closure on Penang Bridge yesterday morning.

TNB later said the fire involved a 132kV power transmission

cable from Bukit Tengah on the mainland to Bayan Mutiara on the island.

Zairil said PLUS Malaysia Bhd and TNB were still in discussion over the length of time needed to repair the cable.

“If Plus only allows the lanes to be closed at night, there will be less traffic woes but it will take longer to repair.

“If they are allowed to fix during the day as well, then it will be done faster but there will be jams, ” he said.

George Town OCPD Asst Comm Soffian Santong said the morning traffic jam yesterday was due to checks being carried out along the bridge.

“The stretch on the mainland bound was at a standstill as there were inspection works being carried out from KM3.1 to KM3.5.

“They closed one lane to carry out the work and it was done by noon. I was told traffic was back to normal after that, ” he said.

ACP Soffian said police stationed at the check points near the bridge were told to inform motorists to take the second Penang bridge upon learning that traffic had built up on the first bridge.

“It is okay for those who are willing to wait it out but some might have an emergency and need to head across quickly.

“We advised those who had important matters to take the other bridge, ” he said.

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