Second Penang Bridge wins global ‘engineering Oscar’

The 24-km bridge is the longest sea-crossing structure in the region, and among the longest in the world. It was built to withstand both earthquakes and tsunamis. — Picture by K.E. Ooi
The 24-km bridge is the longest sea-crossing structure in the region, and among the longest in the world. It was built to withstand both earthquakes and tsunamis. — Picture by K.E. Ooi

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 — The Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge, also known as the Second Penang Bridge, has won the 2015 Brunel Medal awarded by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

The award is conferred to structures that demonstrate excellence in civil engineering, and will be presented to Penang today as part a ceremony in London by BBC journalist Alice Bhandhukravi and ICE president Professor David Balmforth.

“(The Second Penang Bridge is) a vivid example of how civil engineering can overcome the merciless forces of nature and direct its resources to sustainable use,” the ICE said in a statement describing the award as engineering’s “Oscar”.

Among others, it noted that the project overcame a number of design and construction challenges, and used many innovative methods such as durability planning, life-cycle costing and carbon footprint minimisation.

The 24-km bridge is the longest sea-crossing structure in the region, and among the longest in the world. It was built to withstand both earthquakes and tsunamis.

The project commenced in November 2008 after a nine-month delay due to land acquisition and design issues, in addition to the rising costs of building materials, before being completed and opened in 2014.

The plan for a second bridge was unveiled by Putrajaya in the Ninth Malaysia Plan in August 2006, and the groundbreaking ceremony was held three months later.

Beijing-based China Harbour Engineering Co Ltd (CHEC) won the main contract for the first package, which included the bridge and foundation works.

Established in 1818, the ICE is a leading source of professional expertise in transport, water supply and treatment, flood management, waste and energy.

* An earlier version of this story had mispelled the Brunel Medal as the Brunei Medal. Malay Mail Online apologises for the error, which has since been corrected.

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