The Penang Bridge (Malay: Jambatan Pulau Pinang) E36 is a dual carriageway toll bridge connects George Town on the island of Penang and Seberang Prai on the mainland of Malaysia on the Malay Peninsula. The bridge is also linked to the North-South Expressway in Prai and Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway in Penang. It was officially opened to traffic on 14 September 1985.
The total length of the bridge is 13.5 km (8.4 mi), making it the second longest bridge in Malaysia as and the fifth-longest in Southeast Asia. The bridge was designed by Penang resident, Professor Chin Fung Kee, a well known civil engineer. Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd (PBSB) is the concession holder which manages it but now it is a member company of PLUS Malaysia Berhad (PLUS) with its subsidiary Projek Lebuhraya Usahasama Berhad (PLUS).
Before 1985, transportation between the island and the mainland was solely dependent on the state-owned Penang Ferry Service that runs between Butterworth and George Town. In the early 1970s, the idea to build a bridge linking Seberang Perai to Penang Island was suggested by the 2nd Prime Minister of Malaysia's Tun Abdul Razak and the 2nd Chief Minister of Penang's Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu.
At the end of 1971, the Malaysian government appointed Christiani Nielsen A/S of Denmark to carry out a feasibility study. In the year 1976, Penang Bridge was planned during the term of 3rd Prime Minister of Malaysia's Tun Hussein Onn.
Penang Bridge Widening Project
When the bridge was originally constructed, the central span had six lanes, while the rest of the bridge had four lanes. There was an ongoing project to have the entire bridge widened to six lanes. Work on the project began on January 2008 and was completed in late 2009.
The bridge has an emergency layby equipped with SOS phone. Traffic CCTV and Variable Message Sign (VMS) are installed at all locations along the bridge. The bridge has a Tenaga Nasional TNB's 132kV power cable.