NIBONG TEBAL: The Penang state government must consider the social and economic impacts of the newly proposed elevated bridge before planning to implement the RM3bil project, said Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
“In general, the criteria that has been set must be fulfilled by the state government.
“In any project implementation, we have to look into preliminary studies, to see whether the project should even be implemented or not.
“We should see if the project impacts the social and economic aspects of the people and environment,” he said during his working visit to Nibong Tebal yesterday.
Fadillah said cost-effectiveness was also another consideration of any project.
He added that so far, the Works Ministry has yet to receive any formal application from the state government on any elevated bridge, and declined to comment further on the matter.
He was responding to The Star’s front-page report on Saturday about the ECK Development group saying 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.
On Monday, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the Penang government has not ruled out building an elevated bridge as the third link for the state.
However, he said any consideration will only be made after an in-depth study has been carried out.
Chow said as of now, the feasibility study conducted by Consortium Zenith Construction (CZC) is only for the undersea tunnel and not for the proposed bridge.
He 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.
Earlier, during his work visit, Fadillah witnessed the handover of several upgrading road projects in south Seberang Prai to the Public Works Department (JKR), namely the Permatang Keling-Sg Junjung intersection.
He also officiated the upgrading project of the Sungai Kerian bridge, and construction of a flyover across the Jalan Persekutuan junction to Jalan Transkrian, which is expected to be completed on July 7, 2024, at a cost of around RM209mil.