Bypass now 33% completed

Filepic on right: The bypass will shorten travelling time.

Construction of the Ayer Itam-Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu bypass (Package Two) is progressing well, says the exco in charge.

State infrastructure and transport committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the work was now at 33%, with completion expected in 2025.

“It is 2% behind scheduled progress, which is normal.

“The Package Two alignment is divided into six sections and work is being carried out on the first four.

“The fifth and sixth are still being worked out due to matters pertaining to land acquisitions.”

He was speaking at the Hari Raya open house hosted by Consortium Zenith Construction (CZC) Sdn Bhd at its office in Ayer Itam.

Work on the bypass by CZC began in 2021. It is part of the Penang Transport Master Plan project.

Zairil said the land acquisition involved federal land from seven ministries — Health, Tourism, Finance, Education, Communications and Digital Ministry, Home Ministry and Defence Ministry.

“Every plot is a different size.”

He said the state had separate arrangements with each ministry involved.

“In principle, all of them are on board and there is just paperwork needed.

“Once that is done, work will be carried out on all the six sections,” he said.

Package Two is among the three road projects and one tunnel project by CZC.

The 6km toll-free road will have 1.8km on the ground and the other parts elevated such as viaduct structures (65%), tunnels (20%) and grade sections (15%).

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 on the mainland.

The bypass will consist of three interchanges — Lebuhraya Thean Teik, 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.

The bypass is expected to reduce travelling time and benefit Penangites in the long-term, especially the 300,000 people living in Ayer Itam, Bandar Baru Ayer Itam and Paya Terubong.

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