BUTTERWORTH: Following the expansion of the Penang Bridge to three lanes, motorists might have expected the speed limit of 80kph to be either increased or at best retained. Instead there are now different speed limits imposed on the bridge with the lowest at 50kmph.
A check showed that the speed limit when approaching a left slip road and the toll plaza in Prai has been set at 50kmph while that between the first and 5th kilometre has been retained at 80kmph.
However, the speed limit between the 5th and 8th kilometre, where motorists pass the bridge’s midspan area, is 70kph. The limit after the 8th kilometre returns to 80kph until the end of the bridge towards the island.
But, those exiting the bridge at Bayan Baru should be cautious because the speed limit on the ramp which leads to the Bayan Lepas Expressway and Queensbay Mall has been reduced to 50kmph.
The speed limit on the same stretch, however, picks up to 70kph after passing an overhead pedestrian crossing.
The speed limit for those heading towards the Jelutong Expressway is still at 80kmph.
Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd human resources and public relations executive Suriani Mansor said the speed limits were necessary to help reduce accidents on the bridge.
“The 50kph limit near the toll plaza and near the Bayan Baru exit were imposed as there are crisscross roads in both areas,” she said in an interview yesterday.
Suriani said the speed limit near the midspan area was reduced to 70kph because the lanes were three-metre wide compared to 3.5m-wide in the other stretches. “The midspan area had three lanes even before work started to expand the other parts to three lanes last year.
“But, the width of the lanes in the midspan area are much smaller compared to the stretches where the new third lane was built,” she said, adding that the National Road Safety Council had approved the particular speed limits for the Penang Bridge.
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