GEORGE TOWN, May 10 – The feasibility study report for Penang Undersea Tunnel Project that links Gurney Drive in the island with Bagan Ajam in the mainland, is expected to complete by July, said Penang state executive councillor. State Works and Public Amenities Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng said, at present, all works related to the feasibility study, were 83 per cent completed.
“Once the feasibility study is completed, the Consortium Zenith-BUCG (CZBUCG) will start detailing the design of the tunnel, which will be built at least 20 metres below the seabed. The undersea tunnel and the three paired road projects would also take place as scheduled,” he told a press conference here Monday.
He said the four-lane 7.2km long tunnel was expected to complete by 2025. Meanwhile, Lim also explained the RM6.341 billion project was misinterpreted by the Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications director, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan. He said the RM305 million was not only for the feasibility study, but also for detailed design for the project and environmental impact assessment.
“The costs for the feasibility study for the three paired roads project is only RM31.269 million, while the cost of the feasibility study for the undersea tunnel is RM20 million, bringing the total cost to RM51.269 million, which is only 0.93 per cent of the overall cost.
Lim said the RM135 million paid to CZBUCG was the advance payment for the detailed design works that had been carried out. Last Friday, Abdul Rahman who is also Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister, questioned the DAP-led Penang government why the cost for the feasibility study report for the project had reached up to RM305 million. The project is one of the four-phase long-term plans to overcome traffic congestion, that is rather chronic, in Penang.