Zainal Abidin (second from right) visiting the Bayan Lepas Expressway project site in Bayan Lepas, Penang.
The RM338mil Bayan Lepas Expressway (BLE) linked to the second Penang bridge is expected to be open on April 4.
Penang Federal Action Council chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman said work on the project was at its final phase and scheduled for completion by end of the month.
“Upon completion, the traffic woes along the stretch between Batu Maung and Queensbay Mall will definitely be eased.
“We expect more people to use the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge, with an increase of about 20%.
“Previously, island-bound motorists said they would be caught in traffic jams after exiting the bridge.
“I believe the expressway will solve the problem,” he told a press conference at the site office of UEM Builders Berhad in Bayan Lepas on Tuesday.
Besides the elevated 3.2km -long two-way, four-laned expressway, there is also a standard span and a special span measuring 3,161m and 390m in length respectively.
The second component is the upgrading of the existing road on the ground which is the 4.2km two-way, four-laned expressway.
There are three intersections along the route — Hilir Sungai Kluang 1, Lebuhraya Kampung Jawa and Jalan Kampung Jawa intersection.
Zainal said the BLE project was one of the four components under the RM810mil Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge’s traffic mitigation project.
He said other components were the upgrading of the state road from Batu Maung to Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah and construction of a bridge across the Batu Maung junction-cum-roundabout at a cost of RM265mil.
“There is another component for upgrading work of the federal road from Teluk Kumbar to Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas which costs RM207mil,” he said, adding that the remaining phases were expected to be completed next year.
Construction of the expressway began on April 1, 2014, with UEM Builders Berhad as the main contractor.
The entire expressway is set to be equipped with LED street lighting, drains, a bicycle lane, bicycle bridge and road dividers.
Also present were Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd managingdirector Datuk Dr Ismail Mohamad Taib and Public Works Department special project unit senior deputy chief director (northern region) Mohd Yusup Zahidin. - The Star