Traffic woes along the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway will be eased with a proposed road widening work, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
“The plan is to extend and relocate an existing pedestrian bridge to construct a 250m-long and 5.65m-wide lane along a stretch of the expressway near the N-Park Condominium.
“It will convert the existing stretch of two-lane carriageway to become a three-lane carriageway from George Town to Bayan Lepas.
“This will solve the traffic bottleneck problem especially during peak hours with heavy traffic flow towards Bayan Lepas,” he said after inspecting the site yesterday.
On weekdays, an average of 75,000 vehicles use the Penang Bridge into the island with a large part of the traffic heading towards Bayan Lepas.
Lim said the road widening work was scheduled to commence on Sept 12, and once completed, it would be followed by the creation of a U-turn some 800m ahead of the pedestrian bridge.
“The U-turn is 660m in length and will shorten the distance for road users travelling from George Town to Tesco on Lebuh Tunku Kudin, E-Gate commercial complex and Jalan Mesjid Negri by 3.5km.
“Both projects will take about eight months to complete,” he said, adding that presently, road users wanting to make a U-turn had to use the Bayan Mutiara Interchange.
Lim said a study would be conducted with the help of Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) to see if the 26-year-old pedestrian bridge could be removed.
He also said a month-long feedback gathering exercise would be held after the Hari Raya celebration to get the public’s opinion.
Leading property developer IJM Land will undertake both projects as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.
Its northern region general manager Toh Chin Leong said the total cost for both projects was estimated at RM2mil.
Also present during the inspection were state Public Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng, Batu Maung assemblyman Abdul Malik Abul Kassim, and LLM regulatory and monitoring director Abdullah Hashim. - By Fong Kee Soon (The Star)