WORK has started on the third and final phase of the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway which has been delayed for about four years.
Penang Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng said work began in November last year and was expected to be completed in October.
The project, known as the Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim Extension, is 700m in length and costs RM30mil.
The extension begins from the junction of Jalan Perak-Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim and connects to the expressway through Lintang Hajjah Rehmah.
Lim said although the project was supposed to be 34% completed as per the schedule, it was now only 29% completed.
“The five per cent delay is due to the relocation of utilities cables and the installation of a main water pipe by the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBA) along Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim.
“But, we believe work will be on schedule once the installation is completed,” he said when contacted yesterday.
Lim also said workers had cleared the project site and were carrying out soil treatment.
“Drainage works are also in progress,” he said.
He added that a total of 181 squatters in the area had been relocated to low-cost and low medium-cost units in Sungai Pinang and Macallum Street.
“The Land Office is also negotiating and looking for a suitable location for some 10 stall owners along the site.”
Once completed, the extension is expected to help alleviate traffic congestion in Jalan Perak and Jalan Jelutong.
In the 1990s, the IJM Group obtained approval from the previous state government to develop 136.7ha (338acres) of land in exchange for the construction of the 4.7km expressway, formerly known as Jelutong Expressway (JE).
The expressway project, undertaken by IJM Land’s subsidiary Jelutong Development Sdn Bhd, was scheduled for completion by 2012.
The first 3.1km stretch of the expressway was opened to the public in 2003, while the second phase was opened in 2008.