GEORGE TOWN: Local contractors will benefit from several infrastructure projects to be carried out here next year, says Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (pic).
He said the state was ready to allocate construction works to local contractors, including one of the three paired roads and flood mitigation projects expected to begin early next year.
Work on one of the three paired roads – the 5.7km Ayer Itam-Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass – was expected to start in the first half of next year.
“The state is ready to hand out some construction packages to local contractors,” he said after the launch of the Penang Master Builders and Building Materials Dealers Association’s 141st anniversary celebration on Tuesday.
Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC) is undertaking construction of the paired roads, which is part of a RM6.3bil mega project.
Besides the Ayer Itam-Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass, it also includes a 7.2km undersea tunnel connecting Gurney Drive on the island to Bagan Ajam in Seberang Prai, the 4.075km Gurney Drive-Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass and the 10.53km North Coastal Paired Road (NCPR) from Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang.
Chow said the other projects were the flood mitigation projects where the state had requested RM1bil from the federal government, and the expansion of Penang International Airport and Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal.
“The state is always responsive to the needs of the construction industry although there were shortcomings due to the delays in the implementation of the projects under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP),” he said.
Penang, said Chow, registered 173 projects worth RM3.48bil in the first half of 2018.
Association president Datuk Lim Chee Tong, in his speech, said the state’s economy would get a boost once the PTMP projects were accelerated.
“It is a huge project but we believe a good transportation infrastructure is a basic necessity for a vibrant city and state,” he said.
Meanwhile, Penang Citizen Awareness Group adviser Yan Lee questioned the Department of Environment for not hosting a forum on the three paired roads, saying that many were unaware of the projects and how they would impact their lives.
“I urge them to hold a townhall session so that those affected by the projects will know what is happening,” he said.
“There was a townhall session for the proposed Pan Island Link 1, so why not hold one for this project,” he said, referring to the Ayer Itam-Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass.
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