Tun Mahathir’s Top 10 Tech Legacies

The Penang Bridge

The Penang Bridge

Before the Penang Bridge was built, the only mode of transportation between the George Town on the island and Butterworth on the mainland was via the Penang Ferry Service. Plans to connect Penang Island started in the early 1970s though construction on begun in 1982.

In 1985, Tun Mahathir officially opened the bridge by driving a Proton Saga carrying the national flag to officiate the ceremony. The design of the Penang Bridge follows the cable-stayed concrete girder of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge.

The bridge is the second-longest bridge in Malaysia and the fifth-longest in Southeast Asia by total length. It measures at a length of 13km and has six lanes to accommodate traffic.

It was previously the longest bridge in Malaysia though that title now goes to the Penang Second Bridge that was completed in 2014, measuring 24km in total length.

Despite the opening of the second bridge, the first bridge remains as one of the primary methods of connection between the island and mainland. There are even now talks of a third bridge or undersea tunnel to improve connectivity.