PENANG: Many Penangites have welcomed news of the signing of a RM2.7bil loan agreement to build another Penang bridge, saying the proposed second link is now a step closer to reality.
“The link has been talked about for many years. Now that the agreement has been inked, it will become a reality and not just plain talk,” said Mai-zatus Syahrizat, 31, from Bukit Mertajam.
She said the second bridge would benefit everyone as the present bridge was not sufficient to cater for the heavy traffic.
The 23km-long second bridge, which will link Batu Maung on the island and Batu Kawan on the mainland, is touted to be the longest bridge in South-East Asia.
Batu Kawan village development and secu-rity committee chairman Aziz Wan Chik be-lieved the construction of the second link would make Batu Kawan more accessible to islanders.
“More people might move here as there is a bridge nearby for them to commute to the island. Batu Kawan will then be a thriving township,” he added.
Contractor Chew Joo Leong, 51, a resident in Batu Kawan, believes the construction of the second link would boost the economy in the areas surrounding the second bridge.
“If they can build the bridge quickly, it would be better. The bridge will open up more business in Batu Kawan and the property market can take off,” said Chew.
Clinic assistant S. Darmani, 20, said the second link would help ease much of the traffic jam on the current Penang Bridge.
“The bridge is often jammed, especially if there are accidents. The second link will help disperse traffic,” she added.
Malaysia and China signed the loan agreement on Friday to pave way for the construction of the second link. Construction is scheduled to begin in November and complete in 2011.
By YENG AI CHUN
http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?f ... &sec=north