GEORGE TOWN: The newly upgraded Esplanade has officially opened to the public after a six-year construction to reinforce its seawall.
Stretching 460m from the Medan Renong food court to the Royal Malaysian Navy Base, the walkways are now wider and terraced near the Cenotaph Memorial to allow people to get closer to sea and directly access the rocky revetment that is exposed during low tide.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the RM12.9mil project, which started in December 2016, would provide better facilities for the public and also give improved protection against erosion.
"The project has attracted a lot of attention for leisure, as well as the nearby food courts.
"Those at the food court can also take the time to enjoy the breeze and scenery here," he said during the launch on Friday (May 13).
Chow said the project is supported by the George Town Conservation and Development Corporation (GTCDC), a partnership between the Penang government and Think City.
"It is one of 14 projects under the RM140mil North Seafront Masterplan that starts from Dewan Sri Pinang to Fort Cornwallis and the entrance to Swettenham Pier.
"So far, 10 projects have been completed," he said.
During construction, a total of five canons and short-range mortars dating back to the late 18th and early 19th centuries were discovered.
Penang Island City Council (MBPP) mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said the new seawall at Esplanade funded by the council is not just an upgrade but provides protection against the open sea.
"The project will help establish protective measures and the monitoring of possible damage to the historical buildings in the vicinity, such as the Royal Malaysian Navy building, City Hall and the Cenotaph Memorial.
"It features a network of subterranean drainage systems that helps to channel inland water out to sea," he said.