Penang Second Bridge, longest in Southeast Asia opens today


The Second Penang Bridge, the longest bridge in Southeast Asia,  opens tonight, easing traffic in the rapidly industrialising northern state of Penang.

Totalling 24 km in length, it will take motorists around 20 minutes to cross the RM4.5 billion bridge from Batu Kawan on the mainland and Batu Maung on the island.

Penang island already has another bridge linking it to the mainland. The first bridge opened in 1985 but the state’s rising population and popularity with visitors meant that another bridge was needed to cope with traffic.

The new bridge is expected to ease traffic by 25 per cent and will it last for the next 120 years, according to its concessionaire, Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd (JKSB).

One of the big questions posed by Penangites had been: why is the bridge not straight, but curved? Would not a straight bridge costs less?

JKSB construction director Hamizol Ngah was quoted in English daily The Star in November 2012 saying that the curvy design deliberately chosen to reduce traffic accidents.

“This is to prevent drivers from getting drowsy, discourage speeding and improve road concentration,” said Hamizol.

“Such a design requirement was not mooted for the 8.4 km Penang Bridge as it is shorter.”

Penangites might also question why the design is so similar to the first bridge.

Initially, there were plans for two viewing platforms, complete with restaurants, but that was scrapped due to a lack of funds. The platforms would have added another RM600mil to the cost.

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.

The project was announced by Malaysia’s then fifth prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, himself a Penangite, three years after he took over from his predecessor.

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

According to Reuters CHEC is China’s largest international contractor and the second-largest dredging company in the world, with projects mostly in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

The second major package which included structures for the approaches to the bridge was constructed by UEM Builders Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of local conglomerate UEM Group.

UEM’s previous projects included the North-South Expressway, the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link, and RapidKL’s light rail transit (LRT) system.

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.

CHEC and UEM previously announced that the bridge will be completed by 2011, but it was not until April 2013 that construction of the main span was completed, physically connecting Batu Kawan and Batu Maung.

The bridge had been previously scheduled to open in November last year.

The delay was also partly caused by a collapse of the ramp in the Batu Maung interchange leading to the bridge in June 2013, causing one death.

Around 10,000 revellers are expected to attend the launch by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak tonight.

Motorists will be charged a toll rate between RM7 and RM10 starting from March 2, according to JKSB.

The Penang Second Bridge


Car toll for Penang Bridge 2 set at RM7

By ANDREA FILMER andrea@thestar.com.my Sunday March 11, 2012

GEORGE TOWN: Car toll for the Second Penang Bridge has been set at RM7, said Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Dr Ismail Mohamed Taib.

“Tolls will match those of the first Penang Bridge. We want it to be lower, but if we are lower, the first bridge management will complain and sue for compensation.

“The first Penang Bridge was supposed to increase (the car toll) to over RM9, so we were ready to follow them.

Ahead of time: The 292nd and final pier of the Second Penang Bridge was cast yesterday, marking the end of foundation works. The Bridge, which is scheduled for completion in September 2013, may be finished two months ahead of schedule. Car toll has been set at RM7. — LIM BENG TATT / The Star

“However, now they have confirmed that they are staying at RM7, so we will also charge the same,” he said after witnessing Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah cast the second bridge’s 292nd and final pier marking the end of foundation works.

Asked how long the RM7 toll would remain, he said at least until 2038.

It was first announced in June 2010 that car toll for the first Penang bridge would be hiked from RM7 to RM9.40 in 2013.

A record: Upon completion, the Second Penang Bridge will be 24km long — 10.5km longer than the first bridge — which will make it the longest bridge in South-East Asia.

In November last year, it was reported that the concession period for the Penang bridge had been extended to Dec 31, 2038 in exchange for a freeze on toll hikes.

On the progress of the Second Penang Bridge, Dr Ismail said works were 73% completed with some 3.5% ahead of schedule.

If all proceeded well, he added, the bridge could be completed two months ahead of the September 2013 target.

Upon completion, the Second Penang Bridge will be 24km long 10.5km longer than the first bridge which will make it the longest bridge in South-East Asia.

Work on the second Penang bridge is ahead of schedule

By Andrea Filmer, The Star October 18, 2011

GEORGE TOWN: Construction of the second Penang bridge is running ahead of schedule.

As such, the bridge is expected to be completed two months before November 2013.

“Some of the packages are ahead of schedule while some are behind, but on average the bridge is 65% complete,” said Works Minister Datuk Seri Shaziman Abu Mansor.

He described this as a good “buffer” for the contractor ahead of the monsoon season.

2nd penang bridge1

The second Penang bridge taking shape, as seen from the island side of the project. The bridge is expected to be ready two months ahead of the November 2013 completion date. – CHIN CHENG YEANG / The Star

2nd penang bridge2

The construction of the RM4.5bil second Penang Bridge is expected to be completed by September 2013.

“There are many factors when it comes to projects of this size and this one is being conducted in the middle of the sea.

“If conditions are favourable, construction may finish two months early,” Shaziman said during a visit to the bridge’s Pier 90 where work on the superstructure is currently in progress.

He added that construction was targeted to reach 70% by the end of the year with the overall cost of the bridge unchanged at RM4.5bil.

Shaziman expressed disappointment that there was no industrial trainee working on the second Penang bridge this year.

“I have asked the implementing agency to get in touch with universities that have engineering schools to send their students to this project.

“Last year, we had more than 50 university students doing their practical training here,” said Shaziman, adding that he would get in touch with the Higher Education Ministry on the matter.

He said the experience of working on sizable projects like the second Penang bridge was invaluable for students.

“We want the local workforce to benefit as much as possible from this project,” he said, urging companies involved in the construction to hire more local skilled workers.

Location Map of the Second Penang Bridge

The map below provides an idea of the location of the Second Penang Bridge and the interchanges that have been planned for it. The information may be modified as the construction progresses.

View Second Penang Bridge in a larger map

Progress Report: 2012 January 17

Over 65% of the Second Penang Bridge has been completed. View Second Penang Bridge Work in Progress 2012

Progress Report: 2011 April 9

Construction of 2nd Penang Bridge in progress
Construction of 2nd Penang Bridge in progress (9 April 2011)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

9 April 2011 Update
It is now exactly one year since I began this page on the progress of the Second Penang Bridge. Piers for the roadway are now visible in the South Channel although only one small section of the roadway has been placed. The following photo essay provides a glimpse of the progress so far.

Piers of Second Penang Bridge
Piers of Second Penang Bridge (9 April 2011)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

Construction work on Second Penang Bridge
Construction work on Second Penang Bridge (9 April 2011)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

The Second Bridge is in the horizon, literally
The Second Bridge is in the horizon, literally (9 April 2011)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

Second Penang Bridge marker
Second Penang Bridge marker (9 April 2011)
© Timothy Tye using this photo
Concessionaire: Second bridge will be completed by November 2013

By JOSEPHINE JALLEH josephine@thestar.com.my Photos by WAN MOHIZAN WAN HUSSEIN

THE second Penang Bridge is 47.55% completed as of March, 2011.

Looming in the horizon: A view of the work in progress on the second bridge linking Batu Kawan and Batu Maung in Penang

The project is however 2.85% behind the 50.4% scheduled progress.

State Public Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng said concession holder Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd (JKSB) had assured the state government that it would catch up with the scheduled completion of the 24km bridge slated for November 2013.

Workers building a scaffolding for the bridge

Construction works on the bridge started in late November 2008.

Lim also said over 700 workers were working round the clock at the United Engineers Malaysia (UEM) segmental box girder plant in Batu Kawan to produce 8,092 units of segmental box girders for the bridge.

“They have already moulded 987 units. A total of 28 units are already fixed on-site out in the sea with 14 of them on each side of the bridge.

Completed segmental box girders stored at the plant in Batu Kawan

“Besides that, piling works are 84% completed while the building of pile caps and columns are 55% and 45% completed respectively,” he said during a visit to the plant yesterday.

Lim added that the two toll plaza buildings, to be located in Batu Kawan, were still on the design board.

Latest update: (from right) Anuar briefing the visitors including assemblyman Abdul Malik Abul Kassim and Lim at the segmental box girder plant in Batu Kawan.

“We will also implement a green concept for the package to be environmental friendly,” he added.

Buildcast Sdn Bhd (a wholly-owned subsidiary of UEM Builders Bhd) production manager Anuar Abdul said there were 22 moulds and three factories at the segment casting plant.

“Between 12 and 14 pieces of segmental box girders are produced in a day and the process is a tedious one,” he said.

The RM4.5bil second bridge project comprises three main packages — construction of the sub-structure by CHEC Construction Sdn Bhd (the local arm of China Harbour Engineering Co Ltd), casting of the segmental box girder by UEM Builders Bhd, and construction of the Batu Kawan and Batu Maung exit and entry points and trumpet interchange by Cergas Murni, IJM Construction and HRA Teguh.

The bridge, which will link Batu Kawan in Seberang Prai to Batu Maung on Penang island, is poised to be the longest bridge in the country and Southeast Asia.

Main Contractor: China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEC):

Design, Construction and Completion of The Second Penang Bridge

The Second Penang Bridge is a project under the cooperative framework between China and Malaysia, and it is the largest civil work in Malaysia for the past 20 years. The project includes main navigation span, deck, navigation lights, decorative lights on main spans, foundation and sub-structure works for approach spans. The part over the sea for the Second Penang Bridge is 16.370km. The dual-pylon cable-stayed structure of 3 spans is adopted for the main navigation spans.

Duration:Nov. 8th, 2008-May 7th, 2012

Employer: JAMBATAN KEDUA SDN.BHD.

Videos for The Second Penang Bridges

LGE on Second Penang Bridge
3 min – 21 Oct 2008
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second penang bridge
7 min – 14 Jul 2007
video.google.com

Second Penang bridge on course

Sunday August 29, 2010 By CHRISTINA CHIN starmag@thestar.com.my

The sound of piling work on the new Penang bridge can be music to the ears, given its promise of smoother traffic. WITH the Raya exodus poised to begin over the next few days, those headed for Penang are wont to sigh at the thought of traffic snarls in and around the island.

There was a time when crossing from Butterworth to George Town (and vice versa) entailed hours of sweating in the car, waiting for slow-mo ferries to transport vehicles across the narrow straits.

The 13.5km Penang Bridge, which opened to traffic in September 1985, brought welcome relief as it enabled traffic to zoom straight into Gelugor from Seberang Perai.

But over the years, traffic has built up again, especially with the latter area seeing a spate of growth recently. And come festive season, it’s back to the gridlock as hordes rush to balik kampung.

An artist’s impression of the new 24km link, which mirrors the existing Penang bridge in design.

Well, Penangites and visitors to the Pearl of the Orient will have to be patient for a few more years, as the Second Penang Bridge is scheduled to roll out only in 2013. With the new link, island-bound traffic will be able to flow from Batu Kawan in Seberang Perai, to Batu Maung on the other end.

The update from Penang Public Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng is that more than 50% of piling work on the 24km second bridge has been completed. Casting of the segmental box girdle is in full swing and contracts for the land road developments have been awarded.

Overall, more than 25% of the mega project is done. It’s now time to go into full swing to make sure that the bridge is ready by September 2013, Lim says.

“Yes, the first Penang Bridge was expanded, but by 2012, traffic will again exceed its capacity. Now, we have 64,000 vehicles using the bridge daily – and that’s just one way. We’re expecting 80,000 vehicles in two years.

“We need the second bridge to divert at least 25% of the traffic from the first bridge. By the time the signages are ready and the tests and trial runs conducted, it will probably only be open to traffic early 2014.”

Lim admits that the state government does not have any power to ensure that the project is delivered on time, but he thinks the companies responsible will not risk having to pay liquidated damages which could amount to “tens of thousands (of ringgit) per day” to the federal government for any delay.

“The state gvernment can only monitor the cost and progress closely. Any delay will cause the cost to balloon from its estimated RM4.5bil.” Ultimately, it will be Penangites and other motorists who will have to bear the increase in the cost, through higher tolls, he says.

A UEM staff briefing Lim Guan Eng (right) at the Batu Kawan casting yard, during an inspection by the Penang Chief Minister last year.

In June, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said in Parliament that come 2013, the toll rate for the second bridge would be RM1.90 for motorcycles; RM9.40 for cars, taxis and two-axle vans (except MPVs); RM16.20 for two-axle lorries, which include pick-ups and MPVs, and RM33.60 for vans, buses and six-wheeled lorries.

Currently, the toll for cars plying the Penang Bridge is RM7.

The second bridge project comprises three main packages: construction of the sub-structure by CHEC Construction Sdn Bhd (the local arm of China Harbour Engineering Co Ltd); casting of the segmental box girdle by UEM Builders Bhd; and construction of the Batu Kawan and Batu Maung exit and entry points and trumpet interchange by Cergas Murni, IJM Construction and HRA Teguh.

Package one includes piling and the building of pile caps, columns and the navigation span.

Lim says as of April this year, over 13% of this package has been completed “but CHEC will have to play catch up now because of delays caused when the company had to amend its pile caps and columns design to ensure that they can withstand an earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale.

“Although big vessels will not be allowed to pass under the bridge, they must take into account the possibility of shipping accidents,” he says, adding that dredging work is almost done. Dredging is necessary to enable barges and machinery to access the site as the waters are too shallow.

Heavy machinery in operation at the bridge site at Seberang Perai.

The most difficult part of CHEC’s work is putting on the piling caps, he observes.

UEM has started casting more than 8,000 segmental box girdles and almost 20% of package two has been completed, as of April too.

As for package three, the contractors have their hands full with preliminary work, including setting up offices in Penang, mobilising their machinery and conducting land surveys.

Contracts for the construction of the toll plazas have yet to be awarded and the state has called on all the main contractors involved to engage Penang-based sub-contractors and to source for materials locally.

The second bridge, which will have a lifespan of 120 years, mirrors the first in design. Initially, there were plans for two viewing platforms, complete with restaurants, but that was scrapped due to a lack of funds. The platforms would have added another RM600mil to the costs.

A common scene as motorists head towards Penang island during festive periods. The new link is expected to reduce traffic on the existing bridge by about 25%.

The cost factor has also put the brakes on additional lanes to meet increasing traffic volume, down the road.

“Just like the first bridge, additional piling must be done if we want to expand the second bridge,” Lim says.

The first bridge has been widened from two to three lanes each way (except for the centrespan). The third lane opened in August last year.

To accommodate future expansion, additional piling should be done from the start. However, the cost of putting in place piling that allows for such expansion is equivalent to building one-and-a-half bridges, he estimates.

In an even more ideal scenario, the foundation piling of the Second Penang Bridge should accommodate a Light Rail Transit (LRT).

“In 10 to 30 years, an LRT could prove very important, especially if we can successfully promote the park and ride system of using public transportation. No doubt the investment will be great but it is very necessary,” says Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan, former State Local Government and Traffic Committee chairman.

Dr Teng notes that Penang’s economy has been booming since the 90s, thanks to its electronics industry.

“We were transforming from a low-capital, high-labour economy to one that was low in human resource but high in capital investment. There was a need for better infrastructure and amenities such as power and water supply. Flooding problems and traffic jams had to be solved.

“Connectivity between the island and mainland was a big concern because in case anything were to happen on the existing bridge, it would be disastrous for the MNCs, especially with new industrial parks in Juru and Bukit Minyak coming up,” he explains.

It was decided that a second bridge would be that vital link, besides being “a lifeline for the state’s economy”. When completed, the bridge will “instil confidence in multi-national companies to expand their existing operations in the state, and attract new private investments,” Dr Teng says.

Initially, a Japanese company proposed a link between Tanjung Tokong on the island and Bagan on the mainland. It was rejected, for several reasons.

“The Japanese proposal was for an underwater tunnel and a bridge link, but they wanted to handle everything themselves, from the design and contractors to the material supplies. Furthermore, the sites of the link were already developed; we didn’t think the tunnel-bridge could add any value to these locations,” he adds.

So the planners looked south to Batu Maung, a relatively underdeveloped enclave compared to the rest of the island. Across the straits, Batu Kawan looked ideal to draw development to the south of Seberang Prai.

The proposal for the new bridge was approved by the federal government in 2004 and construction finally commenced on in November 2008, after months of delay caused by land acquisition issues.

Other grouses have surfaced since. In June this year, some 80 inshore fishermen in Kampung Changkat voiced unhappiness that mid-sea dredging by contractors at the second bridge construction site had affected marine life in the area.

They claimed that their catch had dropped drastically in the last 10 years, after the Pulau Burung sanitary landfill opened nearby. The situation has worsened since the bridge project started, they added.

The fishermen said they could hardly make RM10 per catch daily compared to nearly RM200 per catch daily previously.

A Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) report states that piling, dredging and landfill works, environment pollution and the movement of ships and boats in the area have all contributed to the dwindling catch.

State Agriculture, Rural Development and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Law Choo Kiang says the state government meets periodically with the fishermen’s association, LKIM and Fisheries Department to gather the information on this issue.

“Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd (JKSB) has also been instructed to complete a Fishery Impact Assessment and to follow every guideline set by the various technical departments including the Department of Environment, Land Office and LKIM and others.”

However, Law adds that dwindling catch is also a problem worldwide and cites climate change, water and sea pollution and lack of awareness of environmental protection as some of the factors behind that.

He “welcomes” federal government assistance to help with the ex-gratia payment proposed by LKIM and the Fisheries Department for fishermen and aquaculture owners affected by the second bridge. “We would like the federal government and JKSB to deal with this urgently.

“LKIM and the Fisheries Department have taken steps to alleviate the situation by placing artificial corals at Kendi Island and Gedung Island at a cost of RM400,000. Muka Head will be next,” he says.

Second Penang bridge 24% completed

Saturday April 24, 2010 By DAVID TAN davidtan@thestar.com.my

GEORGE TOWN: The construction of the RM4.3bil second Penang bridge is now 24% completed compared with about 7% in October last year.A Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd (JKSB) spokesman said the 24% completion covered the works done for both package one and two of the bridge.Package one involves a RM2.2bil contract work on the main span, substructures and foundation, which is expected to be completed in May 2012.

Meanwhile, package two is a RM1.55bil contract for the construction of the superstructure, scheduled for completion in 2013.

The final package involves RM350mil of land portion works, both on the island and mainland.

The JKSB spokesman said a contract agreement signing ceremony would be held in Kuala Lumpur on Monday between JKSB and CHEC Construction (M) Sdn Bhd, and UEM Builders Bhd.

It is learnt that JKSB managing director Datuk Prof Ismail Mohd Taib would sign the deal on behalf of JKSB.

JKSB is a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) formed by the Government to supervise and fast track the second Penang bridge project.

It is also a concessionaire appointed to oversee the construction, management and operations of the second bridge.

Last October, in a visit to the bridge site, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said the bridge completion had to be delayed by a year to 2013 due to re-designing works.

The 17km bridge will link Batu Kawan to Batu Maung on Penang island and will be the longest in the region when completed.

Images for Penang Bridges

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