Guan Eng: Third-bridge study ready next year

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GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Government will continue with its third bridge proposal with the hope the Federal Government will give its approval upon completion of the feasibility study.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the study costing about RM305 million was scheduled for completion early next year as currently, it was 83 per cent completed.

“The study covers a vast area and the project is a mega project, hence it takes a longer time to complete its study,” he told reporters at the Penang Institute here today.

He also stressed that even though the state had proposed the third bridge to link Penang island and the mainland, the state would not abandon the undersea tunnel project idea.

“The undersea tunnel project will still go through should the Federal Government decide to reject the third bridge proposal as the tunnel does not need federal approval,” added Lim.

He said the third link project was not going to be executed immediately but would only take place in 2027 as by then, all current links would be congested.

The chief minister also gave an assurance that the bridge would be toll-free as its construction was one-third of the total construction cost of the undersea tunnel; hence, forcing the state to implement a 30-year concession toll on the undersea tunnel.

On Thursday, the Works Minister, Fadillah Yusof, had sent a letter to Lim saying it was unacceptable for the Federal Government to approve a billion-ringgit project based on only a two-page document without the support of other relevant documents such as traffic flow mapping in both areas.

“The discussion on the third bridge matter is considered closed until the state is ready to give full cooperation, together with the feasibility study report to us.”

Earlier, Lim gave a keynote speech at the institute on ‘Penang in the World Conference 2016’, discussing matters involving economics, environment and development, among others.