Penang Second Bridge, latest Malaysia’s icon opened!

After years of construction, the Penang Second Bridge was successfully completed not long ago despite facing problems like delays, cost-cutting that leads to design revision and also the collapse of an interchange to the bridge last year. And the great news to the country is that it had been also officially launched by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on yesterday’s night with carnival-like celebrations and fireworks display which were also witnessed by Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng and over 10 000 audiences.

Today, the bridge, now named as Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is officially opened to the public. The 24-km long link will serve as the second crossing to the Penang Island, popularly known as the Pearl of the Orient. 16.9km of the bridge is above water. This bridge, known as the longest in the country and also in South East Asia region will helped significantly to reduce traffic over at the first 13.5-km long Penang Bridge which was completed back in 1985 (almost 30 years ago).



Originally, the design of this latest Penang Second Bridge was to be something different and unique but was later revised to resemble the look of the first bridge (also cable-stayed) that is much simpler, hence cost-saving. I am also curious why the path is so curvy (you can see it in the image above). An S-shaped bridge. Nevertheless, the current finished Penang Second Bridge still looks magnificent. Construction of the bridge, linking Batu Kawan on the mainland and Batu Maung on Penang Island, began in November 2008 and was finally completed after over 5 years.  The bridge has been built with a large loan from China to continue and maintain the economic relationship between the country and Malaysia.

I believed many Malaysians, particularly Penangites are eager to drive through this newly-opened bridge for the first time since previously, their only option of crossing over to the island besides than taking ferry is to take the one and only Penang (first) Bridge which is usually congested. For those who are not fancy or excited of this new bridge would end up saying; ‘It is just another bridge! Nothing ground-breaking.’ I had to somehow agree to that statement too. Anyway, this Penang Second Bridge would still no doubt be the latest addition to a long list of national icons.

(Information and images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)


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