Wednesday, October 12, 2011, 12.01 PM
By Noor Hazwan Hariz Mohd, firstname.lastname@example.org
MALACCA: The state is hoping for the Federal Government's approval for the longest sea-crossing bridge connecting the peninsula with Dumai in Sumatra.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the proposed 127.93km highway costing US$12.75 billion (RM40.1 billion), is expected to take 10 years to build.
He said the proposal had been submitted to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, while the Governor of Riau, Rusli Zainal, will secure Jakarta's approval for the bridge to be built on their side.
"This is a very big project, and once completed, the bridge will be the world's longest sea-crossing bridge, which will connect our country with Indonesia.
"And it will definitely open new business opportunities between both countries.
"I hope that the governments of both countries will give the green light to this project.
"I think it should not be a problem as the project will be privately-funded," he said after a Roll-on Roll-off (RoRo) Port Construction Meeting with Riau deputy governor Emrizal Parkis at Majestic Hotel in Melaka Tengah here on Sunday.
The RoRo port construction is another state government project to provide ferry service for passengers and vehicles between Malacca and Dumai.
Ali said the bridge will be built by Straits of Malacca Partners Sdn Bhd, with financial support guaranteed by China Exim Bank and other financial institutions.
He said the bridge will give easier and cheaper means of travel to tourists and citizens of both countries.
Straits of Malacca Partners managing director Datuk Lim Sue Beng said the project involves the building of a 48km-long bridge connecting Malacca to Pulau Rupat; an 8km bridge connecting Pulau Rupat to Dumai; and 71.93km-long highway.
Lim said highway would be four lanes (two on each side) and two emergency lanes (one on each side), built according to normal highway specifications.
Once the approval is given, the parties involved are likely to require four years of thorough research and planning.
The design of the bridge is being put together by Hyunan Provincial Communications, Planning, Survey & Design Institute (HNCDI) of China
The biggest ships could pass through as it will be 76m above sea level during high tide, with travelling time estimated to be about an hour.
It will have two stay-cable bridges and one suspension bridge -- both the longest in the world.
Source: New Straits Times Malaysia Online.
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