GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has not ruled out building an elevated bridge as the third link for the state, says Chow Kon Yeow.
However, any consideration will only be made after an in-depth study has been carried out, says the Chief Minister.
He said any consideration would only be made once the feasibility study on the undersea tunnel has been completed and officially presented to the government.
“As for now, the feasibility study being conducted by Consortium Zenith Construction (CZC) is only for the undersea tunnel and not for the proposed bridge,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Chow said CZC has completed the feasibility study for the undersea tunnel project and it would be presented at the state executive council meeting after receiving reviews and feedback from all the relevant federal and state technical agencies.
He was responding to The Star’s front-page report on Saturday about the ECK Development group saying that it was more viable to build a bridge because it would be more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly than the undersea tunnel.
It is understood that the bridge alternative will cost about RM3bil, half the cost of the RM6.3bil undersea tunnel.
Chow also said that the feasibility studies and the detailed design for the three highways and an undersea tunnel cost the state government RM305mil.
“We have not issued any payment for the undersea tunnel and the only payments made were RM208mil through a land swap for the feasibility study and detailed design of the three highways.”
Meanwhile, Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) president Mohideen Abdul Kader said what Penangites really need right now is an efficient and affordable public transport service, and not the undersea tunnel nor an elevated bridge.
“We don’t need the tunnel or the bridge as we already have two bridges,” he said.
He added that the money to be spent on such mega projects could have been used to find a way to provide excellent public transport for Penangites.
“It is quite baffling why the Penang state government wants to build more roads when the trend in other parts of the world is to build fewer roads.
“Mega projects benefit developers and not the public,” he said.