Penang govt proposes tunnel as third link

By Joseph Kaos Jr, The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The Penang government has proposed the construction of a third link – a 6.5km underground tunnel from George Town to Butterworth.

The tunnel is one of four projects announced by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng here to resolve the island’s severe traffic problems.

“We estimate that the project will cost RM5bil to RM8bil depending on the bids from prospective contractors,” he told a press conference Monday.

Lim said the state government will pay the contractors via a land swap deal. The land is located in the Gurney Drive tourist belt.

“It will be a win-win situation. The government does not have to pay money and the contractor gets prime land that will triple in value,” he said.

The tender process is expected to start on Nov 15.

Lim explained that the project would undergo a lengthy feasibility study and expects construction to commence in 2015.

“We target the completion to be in 2020, although it can be completed earlier,” said the first term Chief Minister.