First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com
Malaysia’s Penang state has approved the PAN 1 Highway project but with conditions attached following an environmental impact study.
Work could start next year on the 19.5km project – officially called the Pan Island Link 1 - that will likely cost around US$1.7 billion, according to a report in the newspaper Sundaily.
The project will consist of 7.6km of viaducts, four tunnel sections totalling 10.1km in length and embankment sections totalling 1.8km.
Penang Island, around 300km², is the main island of the state of Penang, located at the Malacca Strait, off the northwestern coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The island is home to nearly half of Penang state's population, including the city of George Town with a population of more than 710,000. The historical centre of George Town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008.
The project will consist of a six-lane highway to alleviate congestion on local roads across the island, including the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway and surrounding arterial roads.
The Department of Environment approved PAN 1 but with 56 conditions attached, according to Chow Kon Yeow, chief minister of Penang state and who made the announcement.
However, some environmental groups expressed concern over the highway’s impact on the countryside, including any dangers to heritage sites.