Link-up option for Singapore

JOHOR BARU: The RM620mil scenic bridge to be built on Malaysia’s half of the Johor Straits will have an “attachment” at its tail end.  

This is to allow Singapore to link up should they decide to demolish their side of the Causeway. 

Deputy Works Minister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed said the Singapore authorities could take their time to decide whether to have an extension to the bridge. 

“We expect the 0.47km bridge to be operational by April 2009,” he said, adding that all construction work would be carried out on Malaysian soil. 

CONCRETE PLANS: Mohd Zin (left) being briefed by Ng at the site of the scenic bridge project inJohor Baru.

Mohd Zin said a 20m buffer from international waters would be created to ensure all works were carried out within Malaysian territory.  

He was earlier briefed by Gerbang Selatan construction general manager (roads and bridges) Ng Ah Kow on the progress of the RM2.4bil Gerbang Selatan project, comprising the construction of the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex and the scenic bridge. 

Mohd Zin said he was satisfied with the progress on the CIQ complex, which was 85% complete.  

Once completed, it will undergo six months of tests before being put into operation on Jan 1 next year. 

“A RM50mil temporary access road will cater to traffic until the bridge is completed,” Mohd Zin said, adding that once the CIQ was operational, it could cater to some 69 million vehicles annually. 

Mohd Zin said heavy vehicles, however, would still have to use the Tanjung Puteri Customs Complex until the scenic bridge was completed. 

Asked why a straight bridge could not be built, he said the distance was too short to achieve the necessary height for large ships to pass under. 

“With the scenic bridge, we can easily accommodate cruise liners as the bridge will be about 25m above sea level,” he said after visiting the site of soil testing for the bridge project along the strait. 

He said the CIQ project had received 90% funding and the bridge 10%.