Lim Guan Eng

GEORGE TOWN (Feb 24): Penang is currently taking feedback from the people about the landscaping and design of the new-look Gurney Wharf, chief minister Lim Guan Eng (pictured) said today.

In an effort to dispel any lingering doubts or misconceptions about the project, Lim said that he would be posting a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) online in the near future.

The upcoming Gurney Wharf project along Persiaran Gurney, which involves land reclamation, will have mitigation measures in place to arrest the impact of a potential tsunami.

Part of Penang’s northern coast was hit by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami following an undersea earthquake off Aceh, Indonesia.

Such measures are incorporated into the design of the platform level of the reclamation project off the northern coast of the island.

“To provide a prospective on this, the existing Gurney Drive sits at the level of +3.2 metres CD (chart datum) while the areas to be reclaimed will be at platform levels of +5, +5.5 and +6.

“The platform levels of the land to be reclaimed is also higher than the waves of the 2004 tsunami, which hit shores at +4.2 (based on data collected at the project site where the tsunami hit),” he said.

While the project is underway, silt curtains and navigational buoys will be positioned off the waters of Persiaran Gurney before dredging vessels are mobilised.

There will also be an SMS for fishermen in the area, so they will know which areas to avoid and co-operate in monitoring the project.

The public will also see mesh fencing coming up along Persiaran Gurney as a safety measure.

“Given this new design of fencing, people will still be able to walk along the existing Gurney Drive promenade, enjoy the view and breeze through the mesh fencing.

“Every effort will be made to ensure Gurney Drive’s signature casuarina trees are retained, with the same level of attention and care that E&O (Eastern and Oriental) had taken to preserve the trees at Lone Pine when the group undertook a major refurbishment and expansion of the hotel in 2010.”

Local government exco Chow Kon Yeow said the FAQ would be made available online but the webpage was still under construction.

The Gurney Wharf “Park on the Sea” project is expected to kick off in 18 months at the earliest when land is reclaimed on the shorefront of Persiaran Gurney.

Spanning close to 60 acres, Gurney Wharf will be created on land to be reclaimed by Tanjung Pinang Development Sdn Bhd (TPD), a subsidiary of property developer E&O.

The proposed Gurney Wharf concept masterplan comprises four areas that will feature a seaside retail food and beverage area, a water garden, a beach and a coastal grove.

The seaside retail area will consist of a public promenade and seafront dining facilities including the island’s famed hawker fare and a pier walk.

The water gardens area will include a landscaped water garden with innovative storm water filtration systems, and is modelled after Singapore’s Gardens By The Bay. There will also be a skate park. -- The Malaysian Insider

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