PENANG: Traffic volume at the Penang Bridge will be reduced by half after the opening of the RM2.6bil second bridge.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said the new bridge would provide a direct link to the airport and greatly ease congestion on the existing bridge.
“Currently, half of the traffic on the bridge heads towards the south of the island. Many trailers also head towards the Penang International Airport via the bridge,” he pointed out.
Dr Koh was speaking to newsmen after opening the RM11mil Multitest Electronic Systems (Penang) Sdn Bhd at the Bayan Lepas Industrial Park here yesterday.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will perform the groundbreaking ceremony for the bridge construction on Sunday.
The 22.5km bridge, which connects Batu Maung on the island and Batu Kawan on the mainland, is expected to be ready in four years.
Dr Koh said the project as well as the monorail and the Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) would help reduce traffic congestion on the island.
“We anticipate the monorail to be ready by the time the bridge is completed. We also hope that the PORR will be near completion at that time,” he said.
The state, he said, would also undertake measures to improve public transportation on the island within the next five years.
Dr Koh said the bridge project would see many labourers, engineers and subcontractors coming to the state, thus boosting the state’s economy.
“The economic spin-off will also benefit neighbouring states,” he added.
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