The Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah Bridge (E28), popularly called the Second Penang Bridge (or Penang Second Bridge), is a 24-kilometer bridge linking Penang Island to Penang Mainland. The bridge was officially opened to the public at around 12:01 am in the morning of 2 March, 2014. It was renamed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak after Tuanku Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah, the Sultan of Kedah and the reigning Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia at the time of its inauguration. It carries the expressway route number of E28.
Toll of the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah Bridge
As of November, 2016, the toll rate for using the bridge, if you enter it from the North-South Expressway:
Passenger Cars and Taxis: RM8.50
Small and Medium Lorries (with two axels and up to six wheels): RM30.50
Large Lorries (with three or more axels): RM70.10
Second Penang Bridge all lit up (16 February, 2014)
View from the mid span of the Second Penang Bridge.
View of the Second Penang Bridge Integrated Toll Plaza, comprising Plaza A and Plaza B.
Second Penang Bridge Toll Plaza, for motorists from Bandar Cassia as well as those who used Plaza B at the Integrated Toll Plaza.
Location Map of the Second Penang Bridge
The map below provides an idea of the location of the Second Penang Bridge and the interchanges that have been planned for it. The information may be modified as the construction progresses.
How to use the Second Penang Bridge
Toll is collected for use of the Second Penang Bridge for motorists travelling from the mainland to Penang Island. Passage in the opposite direction is toll-free, as in the case with the first Penang Bridge and the ferry. With the opening of the bridge, motorists enjoy free use of the bridge through 31 March, 2014.
Toll collection for the Second Penang Bridge follows a complicated yet logical scheme. There are two toll plazas. The first is called the JSAHMS Toll Plaza while the second is called the Bandar Cassia Toll Plaza.
All motorists exiting the North-South Expressway enters the JSAHMS Toll Plaza. It has two sides, Plaza A on the right and Plaza B on the left.
Integrated Toll Plaza Signage (2 March 2014)
You can see both Plaza A and Plaza B from far as you approach the toll plaza. Both will take you to Penang Island. You should head for Plaza A, unless you see that it is already congested. Using Plaza A, you will pass through only one toll gate (as opposed to two, if you use Plaza B). At Plaza A, an integrated toll is collected for your passage through the North-South Expressway as well as your pending use of the Second Penang Bridge. After exiting Plaza A, you continue directly to the bridge.
If the queue at Plaza A is long, you can decide to use Plaza B instead. Here, toll is collected only for your passage on the North-South Expressway. After exiting it, you can either take the exit ramp to Bandar Cassia in Seberang Perai, or proceed to the Bandar Cassia Toll Plaza. The Bandar Cassia Toll Plaza (bypassed by those who paid at Plaza A), is for toll collection of motorists entering the bridge from Bandar Cassia. It also serves spillover traffic from the North-South Expressway.
Motorists from the North-South Expressway who chose Plaza B have to pass through two toll gates, paying separate tolls for use of the expressway and then the bridge, whereas motorists choosing Plaza A pay the total toll for use of both. Plaza B is actually intended for motorists heading for Bandar Cassia, but serves as a back-up whenever Plaza A becomes too congested.
Motorists waiting to use the Integrated Toll Plaza for the first time (2 March 2014)
Second Penang Bridge Toll Plaza (2 March 2014)
How to use the Second Penang Bridge video
Video explaining how to use the Second Penang Bridge, in Penang Hokkien
Second Penang Bridge Exits
The Second Penang Bridge is assigned the Malaysian expressway route number of E28. It will be linked to the North-South Expressway Northern Route (E1) with a new Batu Kawan Interchange. The Batu Kawan-NSE Interchange will be Exit 157 from the North-South Expressway. It is also called Exit 2800 if you enter it from the Second Penang Bridge.
Exit 157 on the North-South Expressway to the Second Penang Bridge (2 March, 2014)
Gantry on Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway (3 December, 2013)
There are two exits on the bridge. The first is Exit 2801. Called the Bandar Cassia Interchange, it is a cloverleaf interchange for going to Bandar Cassia, the new township in Batu Kawan. The interchange is located between the Integrated Toll Plaza and Second Penang Bridge Toll Plaza.
The second exit is Exit 2801, or Batu Maung Interchange. This is on the island end of the Second Penang Bridge. The Batu Maung Interchange is a directional-Y interchange with elevated ramps connecting it to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway. Follow the directional signs to head north for George Town, or south for Batu Maung.
Exit 2802, Second Penang Bridge (2 March, 2014)
Trying out the Second Penang Bridge for the first time
I tried out the Second Penang Bridge as soon as it opened. It was punctuated with a series of waiting. We arrived at 10:30 pm on 1 March, 2014, and had to queue up to enter Exit 157 on the North-South Expressway for almost one and a half hours before we were allowed onto the bridge.
Then came the next queue, at the Integrated Toll Plaza. After a wait that passed midnight, we were allowed to enter the toll plaza, but were directed to use Plaza B rather than Plaza A. That means we had to pass through the Second Penang Bridge Toll Plaza as well. However, after passing the Integrated Toll Plaza, we were again forced to wait for the Second Penang Bridge Toll Plaza to open. It dragged for a very long time. During the wait, queue began to form behind us, until the whole area was a sea of cars.
By the time we got onto the bridge proper, it was past 1:00 am in the morning. It was a very hazy night, and there was nothing visible, except for the row of street lights. I feel the bridge is quite narrow. After driving for a while, it gets rather boring. The space on the emergency lane is also rather cannot, and many motorists just overtake on that lane. There were several instances of people speeding and abrupt halting. You can't see what's going on in front of you, so if your reaction is not swift, you might not hit the brakes in time. I wouldn't be surprised if accidents become a regular occurrence here.
The Second Penang Bridge is a massive bridge presently (April 2010) under construction in the South Channel of Penang. As its name suggests, this will be the second crossing between the island and the mainland after the first Penang Bridge completed in 1985. The new bridge, when completed, will be 24 kilometers in length, much longer than the first. In fact, it will be the longest bridge in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.
Exit 2802 (Persimpangan Batu Maung), Second Penang Bridge (7 December, 2013)
New main span of the Second Penang Bridge (30 June, 2013)
Second Penang Bridge, main span closeup (30 June, 2013)
Second Penang Bridge taking shape (29 April, 2010)
The Second Penang Bridge is being constructed by the China Harbour Engineering Co (CHEC) with the cooperation of United Engineers Malaysia (UEM Construction Sdn Bhd), a 100% subsidiary of Khazanah National, the investment holding arm of the Federal Government under the Ministry of Finance. The cost of the Second Penang Bridge is expected to be in the region of RM3 to RM5 billion (a ball park figure of RM4.3 billion has been tossed around), with funds largely coming from a loan by the People's Republic of China. On 27 April 2010, the managing director of Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd, Datuk Professor Ismail Mohd Taib said that they expect the cost of the second bridge to be less than the RM4.5 billion
Work on the Second Penang Bridge in progress in the South Channel (29 April, 2010)
Off-shore jetties built by the CHEC for constructing the bridge (29 April, 2010)
Plans for the construction of the Second Penang Bridge was unveiled in August 2006 as part of the 9th Malaysia Plan. A groundbreaking ceremony was performed by the then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on 12 November, 2006. Thereafter CHEC and UEM performed soil studies and test piling works.
Actual construction of the Second Penang Bridge began on 8 November 2008. The bridge is targeted to be completed and open to traffic by November, 2013. As of April 2010, 24% of the work involving the substructures and foundations have been completed.
Like the first Penang Bridge, it will have a cable stayed mid span of 250 meters and a clearance of 30 meters above the sea to allow ships of moderate size to pass underneath. The bridge will connect Batu Maung on Penang Island with Batu Kawan in the mainland.
The Second Penang Bridge will have an overall length of 24 km, of which 17 km will be across the channel. Assuming a speed 70 km per hour, a vehicle will take at least 21 minutes to cover the 24 km or 15 minutes for the 17 km across the sea.
Main span materializing (17 January, 2012)
Updates on the Second Penang Bridge
24 September, 2014
New road signs have been erected to point motorists the direction to the new bridge. the signage states "Jambatan Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah", and is placed at strategic locations along the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway, and on the approaches to the Bayan Baru Roundabout and Queensbay Mall.
18 February, 2014: The Grand Opening of the Second Penang Bridge is now confirmed on 1 March, 2014. The Opening Carnival begins at 3:00 pm with the Governor of Penang, culminating with the actual Opening Ceremony with the Prime Minister at 8:00 pm.
Grand Opening of the Second Penang Bridge (16 February, 2014)
17 February, 2014: Latest report now puts the opening date of the Second Penang Bridge as 1 March 2014.
15 February, 2014: The latest update is that the Second Penang Bridge will open to the public from 21 February, and will be free for the first month. In the mean time, onlookers continue a steady stream to visit the bridge.
Second Penang Bridge at night (16 February, 2014)
7 December, 2013: The Batu Maung Interchange as well as the stretch of Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway under the interchange are completed.
Persimpangan Batu Maung, Second Penang Bridge (7 December, 2013)
Batu Maung Interchange, 2nd Penang Bridge (7 November, 2013)
31 October, 2013
All the street lights on the Second Penang Bridge were turned on for the first time on 30 October. Before that, the bridge has already been lit on most nights, though not all the way. As at time of writing, final work is still being carried out to prepare the ramps for the interchanges.
The completed Second Penang Bridge, as seen from Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway (26 October, 2013)
Second Penang Bridge, as seen from Batu Maung (26 October, 2013)
Batu Maung Interchange (26 October, 2013)
7 June, 2013
A ramp under construction for the Batu Maung Interchange of the Second Penang Bridge collapsed. It is feared that the incident, which happened around 7:00 pm, may have claimed four lives.
Construction in progress on the main span of the 2nd Penang Bridge (21 July, 2012)
3 November, 2012 The Star reports: China Road & Bridge Corp and HRA Teguh Sdn Bhd, the bridge construction corporation and its local partners, were found guilty by the High Court Judicial Commissioner Rosilah Yop to have conspired to defraud DCX Technologies Sdn Bhd, a consultancy firm, for using its proposal to obtain the second Penang Bridge project from the Government. She awarded damages to be assessed later.
Construction in progress of the Batu Maung Interchange, Second Penang Bridge (20 October, 2012)
11 October, 2012 The Star reports: The Second Penang Bridge is built with a "slightly curvy" design for safety reasons, as this prevents drivers from getting drowsy. It also discourages speeding and improve road concentration, said Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd construction director Hamizol Ngah.
10 March, 2012
According to Datuk Dr Ismail Mohamed Taib, the Managing Director of Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd, toll for the Second Penang Bridge has been set at RM7.00 for passenger vehicles. This is to match the toll of the first Penang Bridge.
29 February, 2012
The right lanes of the North-South Expressway between KM153.8 and RM155.7 is closed from 1 March until end August to facilitate the construction of bridge piers for the Batu Kawan Interchange of the Second Penang Bridge.
17 January, 2012
Over 65% of the Second Penang Bridge has been completed.
Second Penang Bridge 2012 Work in Progress (17 January, 2012)
Second Penang Bridge 2012 Work in Progress (17 January, 2012)
Construction of the main span of the Second Penang Bridge (17 January, 2012)
Construction of the main span of the Second Penang Bridge (17 January, 2012)
The Second Penang Bridge under construction, with the first Penang Bridge in the background (17 January, 2012)
18 October, 2011
Construction work of the Second Penang Bridge is now slightly ahead of schedule with completion scheduled for November 2013.
Construction of 2nd Penang Bridge in progress (9 April 2011)
9 April, 2011
It is now exactly one year since I began this page on the progress of the Second Penang Bridge. Piers for the roadway are now visible in the South Channel although only one small section of the roadway has been placed. The following photo essay provides a glimpse of the progress so far.
Piers of Second Penang Bridge (9 April 2011)
Construction work on Second Penang Bridge (9 April 2011)
The Second Bridge is in the horizon, literally (9 April 2011)
Second Penang Bridge marker (9 April 2011)
Is the Second Penang Bridge necessary?
In my opinion, the Second Penang Bridge is absolutely necessary. On this matter I disagree with those who reason that a second Penang Bridge will contribute to traffic congestion. In my opinion, buying cars contribute to congestion, not building bridges. If we want to prevent congestion, we should outlaw the sale of cars.
To be more realistic, some of the steps to be taken to reduce congestion include a) continue to reduce headway (that's waiting time) for Rapid Penang buses, b) charge toll (heavens forbid!) on all main roads into the city centre, c) set a quota system on the number of cars sold per year. These all are good (and unpopular) moves to reduce congestion, as have been done in Singapore, Japan and other developed countries, which all have excellent road infrastructures. Curtail construction in the hope of reducing congestion is warped reasoning. The thought of adding yet another car to the congested road will not stop the next person to buy a car.
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