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PUBLISHED: Feb 27, 2015 8:18pm

March 1 marks first anniversary of Penang’s second bridge

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ZALINAH NOORDIN By:
Zalinah Noordin

The 26-kilometre long Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah bridge is set to mark its one year of being open to the public this March 1, recording an average of 12,500 vehicles using the bridge on a daily basis. — TRP file pic

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GEORGE TOWN, Feb 27, 2015:

The first year anniversary of the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah bridge (JSAHMS), which falls on March 1, sees a total of four million vehicles having crossed the second bridge linking Penang to the mainland.

Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd (JKSB), in a press statement released today, said that the past one year had seen an average of 12,500 vehicles using the bridge on a daily basis.

JKSB managing director Datuk Dr Ismail Mohamed Taib recalled how it took 64 months for the concessionaire and its contractors to complete the construction of the mega project.

“This project also puts Malaysia on the world map again with world-class accolades such as the Green Apple Award and International Star Award for Quality (ISAQ) Geneva, including 15 Malaysian Book of Records,” said Ismail.

The 26km-long bridge opened its door to traffic at 1am on March 2 last year after its official opening by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak the night before, which saw spectacular display of fireworks and colourful performances by local celebrities.

Thousands had gathered in front of the JSAHMS Toll Plaza Complex and most of them had been there since early morning on March 1 last year as many were trying their luck to get the certificate as the first one thousand users to cross the new bridge from Batu Kawan.

Ismail added that while the average 12,500 figure may seem low, it is actually collecting about 90% of the lower bound income projection.

“The number can increase to 20,000, especially during the festivities, long weekends and during school holidays, and these are the current pattern of the traffic using JSAHMS”, added Ismail.

Between April 2014 and December 2014, more than 3.4 million vehicles have been using the bridge to get to Penang from the mainland and vice versa.

JKSB, Ismail said, was expecting to see an increase in total traffic volume of at least 10% when the Public Works Department’s upgrading works on the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway is completed by the year end.

Currently, the project is 57% complete and is reported to be ahead of schedule.

The bridge has been identified by the federal government as a catalyst for the economic growth and development in the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), especially in the Batu Kawan’s vicinity.

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