GEORGE TOWN, Aug 7 ― The original Penang second bridge alignment was to connect Gurney Drive on the island to Bagan Ajam in North Seberang Perai, Chow Kon Yeow said today.
The Penang Chief Minister revealed that the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge alignment was later shifted to the southern side of the island that connects to South Seberang Perai.
“The bridge was realigned for political reasons,” he said in a press conference today.
Chow said the current location of the second bridge explained why it had failed to reduce traffic congestion on the first bridge.
He was commenting on the Auditor-General’s report that revealed the second had failed to meet its aim of reducing traffic congestion at the first bridge.
Chow added that there is no connectivity to the second bridge.
“Now from George Town, to go to second bridge, drivers have to use the same road heading to the first bridge and they will get caught along the jam towards the first bridge,” he said.
He said the second bridge now only diverts traffic to South Seberang Perai, which is the Batu Kawan area where population is small.
“To be able to divert traffic from the first bridge to the second bridge, we need proper connectivity to the second bridge,” he said.
He said the proposed Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1) and Pan Island Link 2 (PIL2) will be provide good connectivity directly to the second bridge.
“With the Penang South Reclamation of the three islands off the southern coast of the island will provide more traffic to the second bridge,” he said.
PIL1 is a proposed highway under the Penang Transport Master Plan to connect the northern side of the island to the southern side of the island.