SECOND PENANG CROSSING – FEASIBILITY STUDIES
Penang Island is located about 8 km away from Mainland Penang across the Penang Straits. Since 1973 the first channel crossing was provided by a ferry service which allowed motorized traffic and pedestrian traffic to have access to Penang Island. In 1985, the Penang Bridge was opened to motorized traffic. Following rapid economic growth in Penang as well in Malaysia and with the normal increase of population, the cross-channel traffic volume increased rapidly exceeding previous traffic volume projections. This currently caused serious transport delays and traffic “crawls“ and extreme inconvenienced the business community and the local population using the cross-channel crossings and particularly to those using the existing Penang Bridge.
These difficulties posed serious constraints to the future development, economic growth and social improvement of the population of Penang Island. It was therefore evident that a third cross-channel crossing was needed to be provided to carry the current and future overburdened traffic. Recognizing the need for a new crossing as well as taking into account future highway planning in the country, the Highway Planning Unit (HPU) of the Ministry of Works Malaysia initiated a feasibility study to determine the technical and economic viability of providing a third cross-channel crossing for Penang Island.