Penang inks deal to start work on Air Itam highway linked to undersea tunnel project

A map showing the alignments of the four packages under the RM6.3 billion three major roads and undersea tunnel project in Penang. — Picture courtesy of the Penang Chief Minister's Office
A map showing the alignments of the four packages under the RM6.3 billion three major roads and undersea tunnel project in Penang. — Picture courtesy of the Penang Chief Minister's Office

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GEORGE TOWN, Jan 15 — The Penang state government today signed a supplemental agreement with Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC) to pave the way for the start of physical construction works of a 6km dual carriageway in Air Itam.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the signing of the supplemental agreement is an important milestone achievement as it is the starting point for the three major roads and undersea tunnel project.

“With the signing of this agreement, CZC can start physical construction works on Package Two on February 1 and the construction of this bypass is expected to be completed by January 3, 2025,” he said at the signing ceremony of the agreement today.

He said the project will benefit Penangites as it will reduce travelling time and congestion on existing roads. 

He said it is the state’s goal to ensure the projects under the three major roads and undersea tunnel initiative are implemented to benefit Penangites in the long run.

Chow said the master agreement for the three major roads and undersea tunnel (PMRT) initiative was signed on August 2, 2019 and this was followed by the signing of a sub-agreement for Package Two on October 11, 2019.

He said the agreement signed today was to supplement the sub-agreement for Package Two.

A groundbreaking ceremony for Package Two was held on November 2, 2019 in which early works were started and with the signing of the supplemental agreement today, physical construction works will commence next month.

The PMRT consists of three toll-free major roads and a tolled undersea tunnel.

The packages under the project are; Package One (north coastal paired road from Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang), Package Two (Air Itam to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway Bypass), Package Three (Gurney Drive to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway Bypass) and Package Four (Undersea tunnel).

Package Two is the first project to commence under the PMRT and it will connect Lebuhraya Thean Teik in Air Itam to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway.

The alignment for Package Two consists of a 4.2km elevated section and a 1.8km of at-grade section.

There will be three interchanges along the road; Interchange One at Lebuhraya Thean Teik, Interchange Two at Jalan Bukit Gambir–Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah and Interchange Three at Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway with a left in-left out junction and an elevated U-turn.

The signing of the supplemental agreement today was attended by Chow, state exco Zairil Khir Johari, state secretary Datuk Abdul Razak Jaafar, CZC’s new chairman, Tunku Shazuddin Ariff Ibhi Al Amirul Karim Sultan Sallehuddin and CZC’s board of directors.

The Tunku Laksamana Kedah, who attended the signing ceremony virtually, is also the chairman of ECK Development Sdn Bhd, a Kedah-based development company that had obtained majority equity in CZC recently.

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