Penang’s LRT to extend to Butterworth via rail bridge, says Chow

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Chow Kon Yeow said MRT Corp revealed the latest planned alignment during talks with the Penang government.
BUKIT MERTAJAM: Penang’s first RM10 billion LRT line will see a cross-channel link in the form of a rail bridge from the island directly to Butterworth, chief minister Chow Kon Yeow said.
He said the bridge would cross the North Channel and end at Penang Sentral in Seberang Perai, where the ferry and bus terminals are located, and adjacent to the Butterworth KTM station.
An undersea tunnel was previously proposed to link the LRT line from Komtar to Butterworth. The 29km LRT project, previously spearheaded by the state government, was taken over by Putrajaya last year, with MRT Corp taking the lead.
Chow said MRT Corp revealed the latest planned alignment during talks with the state government in the last few weeks.
“It would be considered fast if the project begins this year, given the plethora of technical and financial issues to be negotiated,” he told reporters here.
“A Cabinet paper would now need to be tabled to get its green light and guidance for the next step,” he said.
The transport ministry and MRT Corp had previously announced that several LRT stations in George Town would be underground, linking later to Seberang Perai through an undersea cross-channel link.
Seberang Perai would have an LRT line spanning the length and breadth of the mainland from Kepala Batas to Simpang Ampat, in a future phase of the LRT network.
Experts have been cautiously optimistic about the plans to go underground in George Town, as it would likely be fraught with engineering difficulties.
In May 2023, transport minister Loke Siew Fook said the LRT line would be extended northward from Komtar to Tanjung Bungah, ending at Penang International Airport, spanning 29km with 27 stations towards the north to Tanjung Bungah.
In the 2024 federal budget, RM10 billion was set aside for Penang’s LRT system linking the island and the mainland, which was to be implemented through a private-public partnership model.

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