LRT across the sea to mainland in the works

There are plans for a fourth link between Penang island and the mainland – a light rail transit (LRT) track across the sea.

The proposed link will have the LRT trains travelling on rails built near the Penang Bridge.

It will connect Gelugor on the island and the Prai Industrial Estate on the mainland before continuing northwards to Penang Sentral in Butterworth.

At Gelugor, there will be an interchange with the proposed Komtar-Bayan Lepas LRT line.

The line on the mainland will take the trains through the Prai factory area, along the Jalan Baru dual carriageway beginning with Taman Supreme and ending at Penang Sentral, where the ferry terminal and KTM train station are located.

“The link will be a lot narrower than Penang Bridge.

“But we will follow the bridge’s height so that the sea route will remain clear,” SRS Consortium Sdn Bhd project director Szeto Wai Loong told reporters yesterday.

There are currently two bridges linking the island and mainland, while a 6.5km undersea tunnel had been proposed to connect Gurney Drive to Bagan Ajam.

The proposed fourth link and several other highway, LRT, monorail and tram routes, which are part of the RM27bil Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), received the thumbs up from the state government yesterday.

Szeto said the plans for these state-approved transport links would now be submitted to the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) before it is publicly displayed in June.

“People can give feedback and we will factor significant issues raised into the final plan,” he said, adding that the construction of the George Town-Butterworth LRT, which is the name given to the fourth link, would probably start around 2026.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who was also present, said the state had yet to approve the proposed land reclamation in the south of the island which are meant to fund the PTMP. - By Arnold Loh and Jolynn Francis (The Star)

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