Construction of the second Penang bridge is likely to be completed two months ahead of its projected November 2013 schedule.
Subject to weather conditions and other considerations, it was likely that work on the new bridge will achieve 70 per cent progress by the end of this year, Works Minister Datuk Seri Shaziman Abu Mansor said yesterday.
The bridge connecting Batu Kawan on Penang mainland and Batu Maung on the island will be the longest in Southeast Asia at 16.9km. Total estimated construction cost is RM4.5 billion.
“The dedication by the project contractors in seeing to the smooth running of the project may see it completed two months ahead of its scheduled completion,” Shaziman told reporters after visiting the project site.
Work on the bridge, which will serve as the third link between the island and the mainland (after the ferry service and first Penang bridge) and set to provide better connectivity and accessibility to and from the island, began in November 2008.
It comprises a two-lane dual carriageway with shoulders and a dedicated motorcycle lane. Its design is depicted as a 375m cable-stayed bridge with a main span of 240m over the southern channel with a 30m height clearance.
The bridge is a joint-venture project between China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd and UEM Builders Bhd, with Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd (JKSB) appointed as the concession holder.
JKSB, which is wholly owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated, is responsible for the construction, management, operation and maintenance of the bridge and has been given a 45-year concession for the project.