Second Penang Bridge expected to be ready earlier than scheduled

GEORGE TOWN: The Second Penang Bridge which is 65% completed, is expected to be ready earlier than November 2013, the deadline.

Works Minister Datuk Seri Shaziman Abu Mansor said with the earnest effort put in by the contractor, he was confident the project would be ready two months earlier than scheduled.

"Everything is going on smoothly and the project contractor expects 70% completion by the end of this year," he said after visiting the project site here on Monday, Oct 17.

"The progress is affected to a certain extent by weather conditions, but if the weather permits, I believe the project will be completed earlier as the progress now is two% ahead of the schedule."

Shaziman also urged companies taking part in the construction of the Second Penang Bridge to train more people.

"I regret to learn that this year, there is no participation by local university engineering students in this project, as this is a good opportunity for them to gain knowledge from such a big project, " he said.

He said last year, about 50 undergraduates participated and they were given an allowance during their practical training.

"Such a bridge can be built anytime if we have the money, but gaining knowledge from it is important and I want our people to do that."

The Second Penang Bridge project, which costs less than RM4.5 billion, is a joint venture between China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd and UEM Builders Bhd. Construction began in 2008.

The 24km bridge, which is the longest in Southeast Asia, connects Batu Maung on the island and Batu Kawan on the mainland. — Bernama

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