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Penang undersea tunnel study ready by next month

 | November 24, 2016

The feasibility study is not relevant to the application for the third bridge, Penang executive councillor tells federal Public Works Department.


GEORGE TOWN: Results of a feasibility study for the undersea tunnel will be ready by end of this year, the Penang assembly heard today.

State executive councillor in charge of Public Works, Lim Hock Seng (DAP-Bagan Jermal) said as of Oct 30, the feasibility study had reached 87% completion.

“The report from the study will then be used to decide whether the undersea tunnel can be carried out or not.

“It also can be used as a supporting document to the federal Public Works Department (PWD) in case we need to build a third bridge,” Lim said in a reply to Opposition leader Jahara Hamid (BN-Telok Ayer Tawar) in his winding-up address.

The proposed George Town-Butterworth undersea tunnel will be built at least 20 metres below the seabed.

The four-lane dual carriageway, with a 7.2km-long tunnel, will branch out of Pangkor Road, George Town, to Bagan Ajam, Butterworth.

It is proposed to be completed by 2025.

Consortium Zenith-BUCG won an open tender in 2013 to build the tunnel and three paired roads in 2013. The total project cost is RM6.3 billion.

The three paired roads are from Air Itam to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway, Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang, and Jalan Pangkor-Gurney Drive junction to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway.

Meanwhile, Lim said the undersea tunnel feasibility study result was not required to get approval for a third bridge.

(The toll-free third bridge idea was mooted by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, following strong objection from the state’s opposition over the undersea tunnel.)

“The Penang government is of the opinion that the feasibility study for the undersea tunnel is not related to the approval for the third bridge.

“On Aug 4, the PWD wrote to us saying the feasibility study was needed as a supporting document.

“It also asked for alignment of the roads, traffic projections, and also traffic impact on surrounding roads,” Lim said.

He reiterated it would give relevant documents to PWD only if it gave an approval in principle for the third bridge.

“If they approve, we will only spend about RM1.8 billion.”

Federal Works Minister Fadillah Yusof had previously criticised the Penang government for not giving the feasibility study documents requested when it applied to build the third bridge.

The ministry has since shelved that application.

Undersea tunnel still on, says Penang govt

We will pay for third bridge ourselves, says Guan Eng

Third bridge plan: Penang gets a rebuke

Let’s have eight-eyed meeting on bridge, Lim tells Fadillah


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