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Penang Bridge

Address:Jambatan Pulau Pinang, Geogetown, Penang.

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Before 1985, transportation between the island and the mainland was solely dependent on the state-owned Penang Ferry Service that runs between Butterworth and George Town. Toll fees is only paid when heading to the island. Therefore there is no charge for leaving the island. Currently, Penang Bridge handles 65,000 vehicles daily and has a capacity of handling 85,000 vehicles daily. It has been expanded from 4 lanes to 6 lanes to accommodate increasing traffic on the bridge. In fact, the idea about having a bridge linking to Penang was first came out in 1950s when traffic condition was in deep chaos. During that time, Penang economy was booming, causing a massive congestion on the Ferry terminal. Ferry’s during that time was the only mode of transport to connect Penang Island to the Mainland. Some suggesting extending the ferry’s service, building a tunnel and some come out with the ideas of a bridge. However the bridge stood out as the firm favorites for the Penangites. Many hope that with the bridge, their long battle with endless jammed will be eliminated thus bringing in more business and prosperity to the island. Using the Penang Bridge as manifesto, Dr Lim Chong Eu, former Chief Minister of Penang swept to a landslide victory in Penang party election in 1950s. After that, Penang Bridge has become a standing joke of town as nothing materializes. It has face many obstacle - High construction cost, opposition objection and complication of building such a massive project. The dream of having a bridge finally triumph when Dr Mahathir took over as Malaysia prime minister. He pushed on with the mega scale project despite many objection and obstacle. His persistency and acute thinking made the reality of Penang having a bridge came true. On 23 July 1981, Work Minister S. Samy Velu announced that the Penang Bridge would be constructed using the cable-stayed concrete girder of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge instead of the steel-tied arch in the style of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This marks the starts of massive construction projects that will be implemented. Dr Mahathir sank the first pile of cement in April 1982 to kick off the grand projects and the dream of having a bridge in Penang finally becomes a reality. There will be no more u-turn, says a beaming Mr Loh - One of the many Penangites that supported the bridge projects from the beginning.