The Bayan Lepas Elevated Highway is an elevated highway that runs above Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah in Penang. The highway comprises a 3.5 km viaduct that starts in Sungai Keluang, near the junction to Jalan Tengah, and ends at Sungai Nibong in front of the Pesta Site. There is also a pair of entrance and exit ramps at the Bayan Baru Roundabout. Construction began around 2001, and was delayed a few times before it was eventually completed in July 2005, and was opened in stages. During that four year span, it caused massive congestion all along Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, the main thoroughfare serving Bayan Baru and the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone.
The Bayan Lepas Elevated Highway was originally planned to be 2.37 km in length, that is, it was supposed to start after the Kampung Jawa junction. However, midway through the construction, a decision was made to lengthen it to 3.5 km, allowing it to bypass the Kampung Jawa Junction, the Bayan Baru Roundabout and the Sungai Dua Junction.
The decision to lengthen the Bayan Lepas Elevated Highway, without providing for additional ramps, is regarded today as insensible. Criticism centers on the failure of the highway to reduce congestion in Bayan Baru, chiefly along Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, during rush hour. This is because the additional length added to the elevated highway has effectively cut it off from the bulk of traffic it is supposed to relieve. In other words, the Bayan Lepas Elevated Highway becomes a white elephant that serves only a minor role in traffic dispersal, while the roads under it remains as congested as ever.
Bayan Lepas Elevated Highway (22 December 2008)
Exit on the Bayan Lepas Elevated Highway (22 December 2008)
Bayan Lepas Elevated Highway (9 September, 2012)
Access ramp to Bayan Lepas Elevated Highway at Sungai Nibong (12 August 2005)
Location of the Bayan Lepas Elevated Highway on the map
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