GEORGE TOWN: A long-awaited elevated expressway connecting Penang’s second bridge in the southeast of the island to the Queensbay area opened to the public today.
The 3.2km elevated Bayan Lepas Expressway promises a smooth journey for day-to-day motorists, compared with the daily crawl on the existing road below it.
A state-of-the-art LED lighting system, similar to the one in use in several highways in the Klang Valley, has been installed as well.
The elevated superstructure, “super span”, is touted as the biggest of its kind in Malaysia, with four lanes going each way.
It has three exits: Hilir Sungai Kluang, Lebuhraya Kampung Jawa (Free Industrial Zone) and Jalan Kampung Jawa.
The expressway is split into two components – an elevated 3.2km elevated structure and a 4.2km street-level route, which is an existing road that connects to Jalan Permatang Damar Laut.
At the north-end, it connects with the existing coastal road, the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway, which skirts through the George Town central business district.
At the opening ceremony of the link, Works Minister Fadillah Yusof said the RM337 million project was 99% complete, with only work on the bicycle lanes remaining.
“We expect 70,000 motorists to use the road daily. We have also saved RM100,000 in overall costs as well.
“The remaining 1% of the project is expected to be completed by June,” he said at a press conference today.
The BLE is part of a larger traffic dispersal project involving several roads in the south of the Penang Island by the Federal Government.
This includes the newly-opened BLE from the Penang Second Bridge, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah-Batu Maung road upgrade; Teluk Kumbar to Airport road upgrade; and a bridge across the Batu Maung intersection.