Penang Bridge

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Expressway 36
Penang Bridge
Route information
Maintained by PLUS Expressways
Length: 13.5 km (8.4 mi)
Existed: 1970's – present
History: Opened 3 August 1985[citation needed], inaugurated 14 September 1985[1]
Major junctions
East end: E1 North–South Expressway Northern Route and 3112 Jalan Perusahan Perai at Perai, Seberang Perai
West end: 3113 Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway and 6 Gelugor Highway at Gelugor, Penang Island
George Town, Bayan Lepas, Perai, Butterworth, Bukit Mertajam
Highway system
Penang Bridge
Jambatan Pulau Pinang
பினாங்கு பாலம்
Carries Motor vehicles
Crosses Selatan Strait, Malaysia
Locale Penang
Official name Penang Bridge
Maintained by PLUS Expressways
Design cable-stayed bridge
box girder bridge
Total length 13.5 km (8.4 mi)
Width --
Longest span 225 m
Designer Primary
Government of Malaysia
Malaysian Highway Authority

South Korea Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company (Korea) Ltd
United Engineers Malaysia Berhad
Constructed by Primary

Package 1
Loh & Loh Construction Co Ltd

Package 2
Maraputra Sdn Bhd

Package 3, 4 and 5
South Korea Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company (Korea) Ltd
Sykt. Pembinaan Hashbuddin (M) Sdn. Bhd. (Joint Venture)
Lim Kar Bee & Sons Sdn. Bhd. (Joint Venture)
United Engineers Malaysia Berhad

Package 6 and 7
South Korea Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company (Korea) Ltd
Sykt Pembinaan Rahim & Sons Sdn. Bhd.

Howard Needles & Tammen, Bergendoff Intl. Inc. SA/JK(SEA) (Consulting Engineer)
Construction begin 1982[1]
Construction end 1985[1]
Opened 3 August 1985
Inaugurated 14 September 1985[1]
Toll Depends on vehicle type (island-bound only)

The Penang Bridge (Malay: Jambatan Pulau Pinang; Chinese: 槟城大桥; pinyin: bīn chéng dàqiáo; Tamil: பினாங்கு பாலம்), route E36, is a 13.5-kilometre (8.4-mile)[2][3] dual carriageway toll bridge and controlled-access highway in the state of Penang, Malaysia. The bridge connects Perai on the mainland side of the state with Gelugor on the island, crossing the Selatan Strait. The bridge was the first and, until 2014, the only road connection between the peninsula and the island. The bridge is the second-longest bridge in Malaysia and the fifth-longest in Southeast Asia by total length, with a length over water of 8.4 kilometres (5.2 miles).[3]

The bridge was inaugurated on 14 September 1985.[1] The current concession holder and maintainer of the bridge is PLUS Expressways. Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd was the concession holder before it was merged with the current concessionaire[when?].

Route description[edit]

Routes across Selatan Strait (Penang Strait) as of 2014.

The route begins at the Penang Bridge interchange with the North–South Expressway Northern Route and Jalan Perusahaan Perai. The route then briefly goes southwest, where island-bound commuters proceed to pay the bridge toll. At the shore where the bridge begins, the route turns westwards, crossing the Selatan Strait. In the middle of the bridge, the route bends slightly northwest towards Gelugor. On the island side, the route ends at the shore at its interchange with the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway and the Gelugor Highway.[4]



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.

In the early 1970s, the idea to build a bridge linking Seberang Perai to Penang Island was suggested by the 2nd Prime Minister of Malaysia's Tun Abdul Razak and the 2nd Chief Minister of Penang's Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu.

At the end of 1971, the Malaysian government appointed Christiani Nielsen A/S of Denmark to carry out a feasibility study.

In the year 1976, Penang Bridge was planned during the term of 3rd Prime Minister of Malaysia's Tun Hussein Onn.

In November 1976, Howard Needles Tammen & Bergendorf of USA in association with Jurutera Konsultant (SEA) Sdn. Bhd. of Malaysia was appointed to design and supervise the construction of the bridge.

On 23 July 1981, Works Minister of Malaysia's Dato Seri Samy Vellu announced that Penang Bridge, Penang would be constructed using the cable-stayed concrete girder of the San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge instead of the steel-tied arch in the style of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.


In 1982, the construction of Penang Bridge officially began. The bridge was constructed by the Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company (Korea) Ltd from South Korea and the United Engineers Malaysia Berhad. During construction, a two-man made island at South Channel was created for the construction of the cable stayed bridge and the Gelugor coastline was reclaimed into cape for the construction of the Gelugor interchange.


On 3 August 1985, the Penang Bridge was officially opened by the 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia's Tun Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad. He drove across the bridge in a red Proton Saga (the national car), carrying the national flag to officiate the opening ceremony. On 14 September 1985, Penang Bridge is officially opened to traffic by the fourth Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) of Penang, Tun Dr. Awang Hassan.

Current developments[edit]

Penang Bridge Widening Project[edit]

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 YouTube

Bridge specifications[5][edit]

Night view of Penang Bridge.
Penang Bridge main span viewed from the deck. Note that the pairs of towers across the deck are not connected above deck level, unlike in many other cable-stayed or suspension bridges with 2 planes of cables.
  • Overall Length: 13.5 km (8.4 mi)
  • Length Over Water: 8.4 km (5.2 mi)
  • Penang Island Viaduct & Approach: 1.5 km (0.93 mi)
  • Prai Approach: 3.6 km (2.2 mi)
  • 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%


The bridge has an emergency layby equipped with SOS phone. Traffic CCTV and Variable Message Sign (VMS) are installed at all locations along the bridge. The bridge has a Tenaga Nasional TNB's 132kV power cable.



Since 1985, Penang Bridge has been a tolled bridge. Fees are charged one way, when entering the bridge from the mainland and traveling towards Penang Island. There are no fees imposed for mainland-bound motorists coming from the island. Since 1994, the tolls have been collected by a private concession company, Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd (PBSB), which has become a member company of PLUS Malaysia Berhad with its subsidiary Projek Lebuhraya Usahasama Berhad.

Toll rates[edit]

Class Type of vehicles Cash
(Rate in Malaysian Ringgit (RM))
1 Motorcycles RM 1.40
2 Motorcycles with sidecars, cars including station wagons 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

Junction list[edit]

District km Exit Name Destinations Notes
Seberang Perai Tengah 0.0 161 Penang Bridge I/C E1 () North–South Expressway Northern Route – Bukit Kayu Hitam, Alor Setar, Gerik East, Butterworth, Juru, Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur
3112 Jalan Perusahaan Perai – Perai, Perai Industrial Area
Penang Bridge Toll Plaza (barrier system, westbound only)
Seberang Perai Tengah/Northeast Penang Island Penang Bridge over the Selatan Strait
Northeast Penang Island 13.5 3113 Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway – (Batu Maung), Bayan Lepas, (Penang International Airport), George Town
6 Gelugor Highway – Gelugor, Bayan Lepas, (Penang International Airport), George Town
Serves Universiti Sains Malaysia's Penang campus and the Malaysian Highway Authority's Penang office
1.000 km = 0.621 mi; 1.000 mi = 1.609 km
I/C - interchange

Commemorative Events[edit]

The Penang Bridge Commemorative Postage Stamps[edit]

The Commemorative Postage Stamps to mark the opening of the Penang Bridge on 1985 was issued by then the Malaysian Postal Services Department (now Pos Malaysia) on 15 September 1985.[1] The denominations for these stamps were 20 cents, 40 cents, and RM 1.00.

Major events[edit]

Penang Bridge International Marathon[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Bridge info". Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd. Malaysia. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Penang Bridge". PLUS Malaysia Berhad. Malaysia. Archived from the original on 29 June 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Bridge details". Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd. Malaysia. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Microsoft; Nokia (14 January 2015). "Penang Bridge" (Map). Bing Maps. Microsoft. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "bridge details". Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd. Retrieved 2007-12-21. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing