Easier rides ahead on upgraded highway

Motorists heading to Batu Maung in Penang can look forward to a smoother ride on the newly upgraded Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway.

The 4.4km two-way four-lane expressway will be opened to traffic from March 28.

As for the RM337mil Bayan Lepas Expressway (BLE) link to the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge, better known as the second Penang bridge, it is tentatively scheduled to open on April 4.

UEM Builders Berhad construction manager Ismade Ismail said road safety auditors and the Public Works Department (JKR) would be visiting the elevated ramp on Saturday for an audit.

“All the final works are going according to the plan and most probably, we will open this expressway for motorists as scheduled.

“We are also proud to say that no untoward incidents happened among the workers during the construction works which took about a year,” he said during a visit to the BLE site yesterday.

Besides the elevated 3.2km-long two-way four-lane BLE, there is also a standard span and a special span measuring 3.16km and 390m long, respectively.

Penang Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng said the state also appointed independent safety checkers headed by Hillside Geotechnical Advisory Panel chairman Dr Gue See Sew following concerns about the special span.

“They were appointed for the sake of public safety.”

State executive councillor Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim added that BLE was the longest elevated expressway in the state.

It is one of the four components under the RM810mil second Penang bridge traffic mitigation project.

The other components are the upgrading of the state road from Batu Maung to Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, construction of a bridge across the Batu Maung junction- cum-roundabout at a cost of RM265mil and the upgrading of the federal road from Teluk Kumbar to the Penang International Airport.

Also present at the site visit were state JKR director Salleh Awang and Penang Island City Council Engineering Department deputy director A. Rajendran. - The Star

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