GEORGE TOWN, Nov 6 — The Mount Erskine underpass is the only viable solution to traffic congestion at the intersection of Burma Road, Mount Erskine Road, Gottlieb Road and Bagan Jermal Road, said Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (DAP — Padang Kota).
He told the state legislative assembly today that since the Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1) will be built over the road along Bagan Jermal Road and Gottlieb Road, an underpass was needed to connect Mount Erskine Road to Burma Road.
“PIL1 will be crossing above it so we cannot build a flyover and the costs of a flyover will be higher,” he said in reply to a question by Lee Chun Kit (DAP — Pulau Tikus) if there is an alternative way instead of building the bypass.
“If this project is not implemented, it will indirectly affect economic development in the area and cause continuous traffic congestion at the cross road,” he said in reply to an oral question by Lee about the underpass project.
Chow said the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) estimated about 10,000 new housing units will be built around Mount Erskine, Fettes Road and Lembah Permai Road by 2024 when the underpass is due to be ready.
He said the vehicle traffic at the intersection is expected to increase by 4.15 per cent each year.
“The daily number of vehicles are expected to increase by 8,500 units by 2024 in that area,” he said.
On the land acquisition process undertaken to build the underpass, Chow said the compensation offered will be determined by the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH).
“The value of the lands involved will be based on market value but if the land owner is dissatisfied with the compensation offered, they can bring the case to court,” he said.
The state will acquire about 20 plots of land around the area to make way for the RM25 million underpass.