Second Penang Bridge may cause traffic woes

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.