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Sungai Pinang Bridge

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Sungai Pinang Bridge, PenangSungai Pinang Bridge, Penang (3 June, 2012)

Sungai Pinang Bridge (GPS: 5.40436, 100.326) is a red steel tied-arch bridge across Sungai Pinang in George Town, Penang. It comprises two independent bridges, each 50 meters in length. The bridge connects Bridge Street (Jalan C.Y. Choy) with Jalan Jelutong.

The present Sungai Pinang Bridge replaces the former steel truss bridge which was built in 1907. The old bridge carried two lanes of vehicular traffic. It also had a timber-decked footbridge on the east side. Two steel lattice girders formed the load-carrying members of that bridge. The main deck of that bridge were steel buckled places supported by cross girders that transferred the load to the lattice girders.

Approach to the new Sungai Pinang Bridge from Brick Kiln roadApproach to the new Sungai Pinang Bridge from Brick Kiln road (3 June, 2012)

An inspection of the old Sungai Pinang Bridge carried out by the Public Works Department (JKR) in December 2002. A checklist was made for a systematic inspection of every component of the bridge. This was carried out on foot, and where it involved the underside of the bridge deck, a pontoon was used. The inspectors found that the old bridge was suffering from varying degrees of corrosion, and recommended that it be replaced immediately.

The Penang Island Municipal Countil (MPPP) then appointed a consultant (Evenfit Consult) to assess the bridge in August 2003. The consultant reported that the bridge span was too short for the width of the river, causing a bottleneck to the river flow (though there was no sign of scouring). The consultant remarked that the river and surrounding drains were clogged with rubbish, and recommended that a 16-tonne weight restriction be imposed on the bridge to reduce the possibility of collapse.

The old Sungai Pinang Bridge, before reconstructionThe old Sungai Pinang Bridge, before reconstruction (20 March 2004)

As it had become obvious that the old steel truss bridge could not be retained, the MPPP sought design concepts for a new bridge. The new bridge was to be aesthetically pleasing, as it is a local landmark in George Town. Three designs were received. Design 1 was for a 43-meter concrete cantilever bridge costing RM8.9 million. Designs 2 and 3 were for a steel tied-arch bridge, spanning 60 meters (RM12.33 million) and 45 meters (RM11 million) respectively.

From the concepts reviewed, the MPPP decided on something between Designs 2 and 3. The new bridge would be a steel tied-arch bridge spanning 50 meters. It comprises two structures, each carrying two lanes of traffic, along with a footpath on each side. As each structure is about the same width (12.5m) as the old bridge, the new bridge will be more than twice the width of the old one. This is in keeping with the plan to turn Jalan Jelutong into a two-lane dual carriageway. To minimise distruption to existing traffic, one of the two structures was constructed first. Then the old bridge was dismantled and the other structure built in its place.

Construction of the new Sungai Pinang Bridge was awarded to Hayana Sdn Bhd for RM12.198 million. It involved pre-fabricating the bridge components off site in Seberang Perai. There, it was assembled to ensure all parts fit properly. The parts are then dismantled, taken to the site, and reassembled. Construction began on 20 November, 2006 and was completed on 6 December 2008.

Sungai Pinang Bridge is on the map of Jalan Jelutong


  1. The Assessment and Replacement of Sungai Pinang Bridge

List of Bridges in Penang and Bridges in Malaysia

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