Updates on Penang second bridge

It was all out on today's papers that the Penang second bridge is now even more expensive - RM4.585billion to be exact.

I know many people, including the state government, must be damn sceptical over the progress of the bridge and well, here are some of the facts/ claims I found in the papers by UEM Group (the contractor building the bridge).

  • It's a box-girder bridge - meaning a bridge made of box-girders (read all about box-girder bridge here)
  • It is right on schedule and will be completed by end of 2011
  • Costs - RM4.3bil (construction costs) + RM285million (development costs)
  • Connects Batu Kawan to Batu Maung - approximate 20 minutes drive
  • Length - 24 km of which length over water - 17km
  • Three lanes each side - 2 for cars, 1 for motorcycles (each)
  • Built by UEM and China Harbour.
  • Currently they are still building the casting yard (the factory) that produces the box girders that made up the bridge.
  • Piling works for the bridge is expected to start early next year.
Here are some things not so easily found in the press:

UEM has an agreement with the federal government (for the first Penang bridge which they are the concessionaire and also undertaking the expansion works now) that UEM is entitled compensation in the event of a second bridge being built for possible loss of concessionaire 'income' from toll collections.

UEM is making tonnes from the expansion of the first Penang bridge and now the second bridge.

UEM will be financing RM2.1bil (from the federal government) while China Harbour RM2.2bil of the costs for the bridge. The RM285mil will probably also be taken up by the federal government.

UEM will be in charge of producing the segmental box girders and assemble these while China Harbour will be doing the piling and the foundation.

UEM will tender for the concession of the second bridge and will probably impose a heavy toll like the first bridge.

Penangites are pretty well screwed because it may mean another bridge but toll charges will be cut-throat.

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