Penang coastal route may be realigned

The originally planned interchanges of the Teluk Bahang-Tanjung Bungah paired road are (1) Lembah Permai corner near Sri Vazhikattum Muniswarar shrine, (2) Jalan Sungai Emas, (3) Persiaran Sungai Permai, (4) near Chin Farm Waterfall and (5) about 200m from the Teluk Bahang roundabout near the Toy Museum. — Google Earth Pro

The new road construction plan between Tanjung Bungah and Teluk Bahang in Penang is being studied for possible realignment to minimise risks to residents in surrounding high-rise buildings.

The change may involve part of the coastal road, dubbed the North Coastal Paired Road.

State infrastructure and transport committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said in the originally planned alignment, the elevated road cut through residential areas on both sides.

“In the review, there will not be a huge change of the alignment.

“We are looking at a coastal route for a portion of it and we are finalising the cost analysis now,” he said.

It was learned that a proposal had been suggested for part of the route to be elevated above the sea.

This 10.5km stretch originally meanders along the foothills of Penang island’s northern coast.

“There were concerns about the safety of residents during construction since there are homes on both sides in the originally planned alignment,” Zairil added.

Recently, blasting work done in the foothills to construct another paired road, from Air Itam to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway, caused debris and earth to fly into condominium blocks, damaging rooftops, swimming pool facilities, barbecue areas and several parked vehicles.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow apologised to the residents and assured them that the contractor would bear full responsibility for the damage.

Both the north coastal paired road and Air Itam-Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu bypass are among three new roads planned as part of a traffic dispersal system before the proposed undersea tunnel can connect Gurney Drive on the island to Bagan Ajam in Butterworth.

The third road in the package is between Gurney Drive and Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway, and is still subject to review.

This third road is meant to be almost 4km long and half of it is to be an underground tunnel while the other half will be elevated.

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