The Second Penang Bridge, actually the third cross-channel link, was opened tonight and the stage is set for more congestion in Penang Island, especially along the Jelutong Expressway with more cars expected to flood the island.
Penangites are going to have ‘fun’ on the roads in the next few years, especially as the traffic dispersal system at the bridge has not yet been completed. By the time the dispersal system is completed in three years, the Jelutong Expressway is going to be “chock-a-block” with traffic.
Meanwhile, the developers’ mouths are watering as they eye fresh property development in Batu Kawan on mainland Penang and reclaim land along the southeast coast of Penang Island. This will only add to the congestion in the absence of a meaningful public transport system.
Why don’t we have a rail-link to move people not cars? Why this obsession with facilitating the flow of private motor vehicles? This is hardly a gift to Penang, but a recipe for a future traffic nightmare.
“It is too late crying over spilt milk.” But didn’t the Penang state government welcome this expensive RM4.5bn project mooted by the BN – despite concern that it would worsen congestion?
We are well past the stage of being impressed with the longest this and the tallest that. The happiest folks are likely to be the bridge concessionaire, whose cash registers are likely to be overflowing soon, and the bridge contractors, and of course the petrol stations near this long bridge.
Check out this Sun report:
Second Penang Bridge may cause traffic woes
Posted on 27 February 2014 – 08:53pm
Last updated on 27 February 2014 – 09:51pm
GEORGE TOWN: Residents near the Second Penang Bridge may face additional traffic congestion as the traffic dispersal system for the bridge will only be completed in the next three years.
State local government, traffic management and flood mitigation committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said this was because works on the three federal projects only began recently, with the cost estimated to be RM1 billion.
He said this when asked why the three federal projects did not run concurrently with the bridge construction.
Chow also said the state could only conduct traffic management at the local level, with the Penang Island Municipal Council tasked to fine-tune the traffic lights timing at the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway leading up to the bridge.
“It is too late crying over spilt milk; the planning is outside the knowledge of the state government,” he said at a press briefing today.
The first project is the construction of an elevated highway from the bridge to Pesiaran Bayan Indah and widening the existing roads, with completion expected in 2015.
The second project involves linking the bridge to Batu Maung through a flyover and improving traffic flow with a roundabout, which is expected to be done in 2015.
For the final project, an elevated highway will be built from the Penang International Airport to Teluk Kumbar and existing roads widened, which is expected to be finished in three years’ time.
The RM4.5 billion Second Penang Bridge, to be opened this Saturday, will be the longest bridge in Malaysia and third longest in Southeast Asia.
Chow said the council will monitor the traffic movement to alleviate the public inconvenience.