GURNEY Wharf – the mega recreational waterfront project in George Town, Penang – is expected to be fully completed by early 2025.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the components under Priority One of the project could be open to the public within a year.
“We expect this part to be open first, but it will depend on the safety of the site,” he said after the official groundbreaking ceremony of the project over the weekend.
Components under Priority One include a children’s playground, skate park, south vantage point viewing deck, public toilets, promenade pavements, hawkers’ kiosks, landscape and recreational park as well as an open-air carpark.
Chow said components under Priority Two could be completed in about 24 months.
These components are a hawker centre, north vantage point viewing deck, more hawker kiosks, toilets, multistorey carpark, open-air carparks, boardwalk and beach front, a water garden, a stormwater channel, a water taxi jetty and part of the water body reclamation.
The cost of the project that was initially estimated at RM176mil, said Chow, had now grown to RM200mil, and could increase due to escalating costs in the future.
“We will deal with the increasing cost if it is highlighted and any increase will be further negotiated.”
He said work on components under both priorities, which commenced on March 31, were being carried out concurrently.
In 2016, it was reported that the coast along Gurney Drive would get a makeover under a massive recreational waterfront project.
About 20ha of the 53ha reclaimed area will be turned into a public park with facilities for the disabled.
Chow said that while 20ha of the land was set aside for the Gurney Wharf project, another 20ha would be given to Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd as payment for three highways and an undersea tunnel mega project.
The land, he said, would be released to Consortium Zenith according to the progress of the highways and undersea tunnel construction.
Consortium Zenith could submit a claim for the land as the project progressed, he added.
When asked if affordable housing would be built on the reclaimed land, Chow said all planning rules would be imposed depending on how the land was used.
“Whether there will be low-cost housing on the land will depend on the components of the development project applied,” he said.
Gurney Wharf is touted as the state’s seafront park-in-the-city attraction.
The land reclamation was completed in September 2019 but the project took a break because of travel restrictions and the land needed time to settle.
The project would deliver significant new opportunities for Penangites via publicly accessible waterfront promenades plus retail, education, lifestyle and transport facilities.
In his speech, Chow said the state government decided that the execution of the project would be conducted through open tender to give opportunity to more contractors to be involved.
He said that after a thorough and careful evaluation by state officials, a local engineering construction company was chosen as the main contractor for the project.
He disclosed that Teto Engineering Sdn Bhd was chosen as the main contractor while another four nominated sub-contractors would be announced from time to time.
The company, Chow added, would be responsible for executing the main building works.
Among those present during the groundbreaking ceremony were Penang Governor Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak, Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman, Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy, Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng, Penang state secretary Datuk Dr Ahmad Jailani Muhamed Yunus and Penang island mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang.
Ahmad Fuzi also witnessed the handover of appointment letter from Chow to Teto Engineering Sdn Bhd director Harizuddin Salleh.