Penang Bridge ( Jambatan Pulau Pinang in Malay) is a dual-carriageway toll bridge connects Gelugor on the island of Penang and Seberang Prai on the mainland of Malaysia on the Malay Peninsula. The bridge is also linked to the North-South Expressway in Prai and Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway in Penang. It was officially opened to traffic on September 14, 1985. The total length of the bridge is 13.5 km (8.4 miles), making it the longest bridge in Malaysia as and the fourth-longest in Southeast Asia. Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd (PBSB) is the concession holder which manages it. The bridge was designed by Penang resident, Professor Chin Fung Kee, a well known civil engineer. 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. 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. A proposal for second bridge, the Penang Second Bridge, has been approved by the Malaysian federal government and included as one of the Ninth Malaysia Plan national projects. Construction work of the new Penang Second Bridge began in November 2008, and the target completion date is year 2013. Recently, Penang Bridge was assign with route number .

Route background
The Kilometre Zero of the expressway starts at Perai Interchange of the Tun Hussein Onn Highway.

History

Chronology
  • Early 1970s - The idea to build a bridge linking Seberang Perai to Penang Island was suggested by the late Tun Abdul Razak, the second Prime Minister of Malaysia.
  • Late 1970s - Penang Bridge was planned during the term of third Prime Minister, Tun Hussein Onn.
  • 23 July 1981 - Works Minister S. Samy Vellu announced that Penang Bridge, Penang 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.
  • 1982 - Construction of Penang Bridge officially began
  • 3 August 1985 - Official opening of Penang Bridge by fourth Prime Minister, Dato Seri Dr Mahathir Mohammad.
  • 14 September 1985 - Penang Bridge is officially opened to traffic.


Current developments

Penang Bridge Widening Project
When the bridge was originally constructed, the central span had six lanes, while the rest of the bridge had four lanes. There was an ongoing project to have the entire bridge widened to six lanes. Work on the project began on January 2008 and was completed in late 2009. Penang Bridge Widening Project on You Tube

Bridge specifications
  • Overall Length: 13.5 km (8.4 miles)
  • Length Over Water: 8.4 km (5.2 miles)
  • Penang Island Viaduct & Approach: 1.5 km (0.9 miles)
  • Prai Approach: 3.6 km (2.2 miles)
  • Carriageway: 3 lanes per carriageway
  • Height of Tower Above Water: 101.5 m
  • Height of Bridge Above Water: 33 m
  • Main Span: 225 m
  • End Span: 107.5 m
  • Other Span: 40 m
  • Speed limit: 80 km/h
  • Maximum Gradient: 3.0%


Features
The bridge has an SOS emergency feature and traffic CCTV. The Gelugor Complex Interchange is the largest highway interchange in Malaysia. The bridge has a Tenaga Nasional TNB's 132kV power cable.

Tolls

Overview
Since 1985, Penang Bridge has been a tolled bridge. The first concession was a government body, the Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA). 20% discount on toll rate was initially given to the loyal and regular customer of the bridge since the operation of the bridge by MHA from 1985 to 1994. During the period, majority of regular commuters from the government agencies, manufacturers and transporters purchased the discount vouchers in bulk from MHA and used them at Penang Bridge Toll Plaza. Fees is charged one way, when enter the bridge from the mainland end towards Penang Island. There is no fees imposed for mainland-bound motorists coming from the island. Since 1994, toll collection has been undertaken by a private concession company, Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd.

Toll rates

Note: Touch 'n Go is also available for light vehicles and motorcycles. Smart TAG lane are for light vehicles only. As part of the concessionaire's initiative to increase use of the more efficient electronic payment system, user with Touch 'n Go card (and Smart TAG) issued from Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd office will receive a 20% discount on Penang Bridge toll.


List of Interchanges
This is a list of interchanges of Penang Bridge.

Tun Hussein Onn Highway side

Bridge side

EXIT 3602B Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) interchange side

EXIT 3602C Jalan Tunku Kudin interchange side

Interesting facts
  • Penang Bridge toll plaza (Prai) is the first toll plaza in Malaysia to introduce toll payment by Contactless Smart Card.
  • Penang Bridge toll plaza (Prai) is the first toll plaza in Malaysia with smart card payment for all classes of vehicles.
  • After construction works of Penang Bridge were completed in 1985, Penang Island became the first and only island in Malaysia to be connected to the mainland through land transport.


Major events

Penang Bridge International Marathon
Penang Bridge International Marathon is held every year since 1985. Participants ran over the third longest bridge in the world - Penang Bridge - and along a scenic coastal highway. This is the only time of the year when the bridge is closed for several hours. The biggest run in the country incorporates a marathon, a half-marathon and a quarter-marathon. The Run catered both to serious runners and amateur ones. It promoted healthy living and built a sense of community. This is in addition to trophies, finisher medals, certificates and prizes donated by sponsors. In the past, this has included air tickets, hotel stays and household electrical goods. The run was jointly organised by the Penang Municipal Council ( Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang) and Malaysian Highway Authority with the co-operation of Penang Government, Penang Amateur Athletic Association, Penang Youth and Sports Department , University Science Malaysia, Penang Tourism Action Council and Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd. For more information see also Penang Bridge International Marathon website

Class Type of vehicles Rate (in Malaysian Ringgit (RM)) 1 Motorcycles RM 1.40 2 Motorcycle with sidecars, cars including station wagon and commercial vehicles on three wheels RM 7.00 3 Lorries and vans with two axles and four wheels RM 12.00 Buses with two axles and four wheels RM 6.00 4 Lorries, vans and buses with two axles and five or six wheels RM 25.00 Buses with two axles and five or six wheels RM 12.50 5 Vehicles with three axles RM 45.00 Buses with three axles RM 22.50 6 Vehicles with four axles RM 60.00 7 Vehicles with five and more axles RM 75.00 km Exit Interchange To Remarks AH2 NORTH-SOUTH EXPRESSWAY NORTHERN ROUTE NORTH Alor Star Permatang Pauh AH2 NORTH-SOUTH EXPRESSWAY NORTHERN ROUTE PLUS Expressways border limit PENANG BRIDGE (TUN HUSSEIN ONN HIGHWAY) PBSB border limit 0 PERAI INTERCHANGE NORTHWEST BUTTERWORTH OUTER RING ROAD Perai Butterworth SOUTHEAST BUTTERWORTH-KULIM HIGHWAY Bukit Mertajam Parcelo cloverleaf interchange Railway crossing bridge EXIT 3601A EXIT 3601B PENANG BRIDGE INTERCHANGE EXIT 3601A AH2 NORTH-SOUTH EXPRESSWAY NORTHERN ROUTE SOUTH Kuala Lumpur Ipoh Bukit Tambun EXIT 3601B JALAN PERUSAHAAN PERAI NORTHWEST Perai Industrial Area SOUTHEAST Juru EXIT 3601A Stacked expressway interchange EXIT 3601B Cloverleaf interchange PENANG BRIDGE (TUN HUSSEIN ONN HIGHWAY) PENANG BRIDGE km Exit Interchange To Remarks U-Turn U-TURN TUN HUSSEIN ONN HIGHWAY Perai Butterworth TnG TAG i Customer Service Centre Perai toll plaza (PLAZA A) (Enter bridge only) PBSB TAG TnG TnG POS RM (Cash) Opened toll system Pay toll Perai toll plaza (PLAZA B) (Enter bridge only) PBSB TAG TnG TnG POS RM (Cash) Opened toll system Pay toll P Perai toll plaza PBSB TnG TAG i Customer Service Centre Enter bridge only U-Turn U-TURN PENANG BRIDGE George Town Bayan Lepas TnG TAG i Customer Service Centre Penang Bridge 13.5 kilometres Start/End of Bridge Six lane carriageway 2 Penang Bridge 2.3 5 Penang Bridge 5.1 - 5.9 Penang Bridge Central span Cable stayed bridge 6 Penang Bridge Penang Bridge 13.5 kilometres Start/End of Bridge Six lane carriageway EXIT 3602A EXIT 3602B EXIT 3602C GELUGOR-PENANG BRIDGE INTERCHANGE EXIT 3602B WEST GELUGOR HIGHWAY Malaysian Highway Authority Northern Regional Office Gelugor Jalan Gelugor Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) TUN DR LIM CHONG EU EXPRESSWAY (BAYAN LEPAS EXPRESSWAY) EXIT 3602C NORTH Jalan Tunku Kudin Air Itam George Town EXIT 3602A SOUTH Bayan Lepas Penang International Airport Stacked expressway interchange km Exit Interchange To Remarks Malaysian Highway Authority Northern Regional Office Malaysian Highway Authority Northern Regional Office EXIT 3602B WEST UNIVERSITI SAINS MALAYSIA INTERCHANGE GELUGOR HIGHWAY NORTH Gelugor Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) SOUTH Sungai Nibong Bayan Lepas Penang International Airport Trumpet interchange km Exit Interchange To Remarks Tesco Penang EXIT 3602C NORTH JALAN TUNKU KUDIN INTERCHANGE WEST PENANG MIDDLE RING ROAD JALAN TENGKU KUDIN Jalan Masjid Negeri Air Itam Interchange from/to Penang Bridge and Bayan Lepas only PENANG BRIDGE ( TUN DR LIM CHONG EU EXPRESSWAY) (BAYAN LEPAS EXPRESSWAY) PBSB border limit TUN DR LIM CHONG EU EXPRESSWAY (JELUTONG EXPRESSWAY) JKR and MPPP border limit NORTH TUN DR LIM CHONG EU EXPRESSWAY (JELUTONG EXPRESSWAY) George Town

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