Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bridge to be closed for marathon

THOSE from the mainland who wish to cross over to the island this Sunday are urged to use the ferry services, as the Penang Bridge will be closed from 2am until 10am for the Penang Bridge International Marathon 2009.

State Tourism Development, Arts and Culture Committee chairman Danny Law Heng Kiang said the ferries would operate every 20 minutes from midnight on Sunday to facilitate a smooth flow of traffic from Seberang Prai to Penang and vice versa.

He added that public bus operator — Rapid Penang — would also provide free shuttle services from the ferry terminal to Queensbay Mall and vice versa with only one stop to pick passengers at Kristal Point near the Bayan Baru roundabout.

He added that the shuttle services would commence every 30 minutes from 11pm on Saturday to 11am on Sunday.

About 19,000 participants have registered for the international marathon which will be divided into four categories — Full Marathon (850 participants), Quarter Marathon (about 2,000), Half Marathon (about 6,000) and Fun Run (about 10,000).

Law was speaking at a press conference in Komtar on Tuesday to announce the road closure for the Penang Bridge International Marathon.

State traffic police operations chief Deputy Supt K. Wari, who was present, said the Jelutong Expressway would be closed to ensure the safety of the runners.

Other road closures included Jalan Aziz Ibrahim to the Gold Coast roundabout, the road from Pulau Jerejak Jetty heading towards the Gold Coast roundabout, the road leading to Queensbay Mall and Jalan Batu Maung from Bayan Baru roundabout and the junction of Lebuhraya Kampung Jawa leading to Batu Maung.

He added that vehicles entering the Gold Coast area would be diverted to Lebuhraya Sungai Nibong via Pantai Jerejak.

“Only vehicles with working passes (issued by the organiser) will be allowed on these roads,” he added.

Supt Wari said the police anticipated between 4,000 and 5,000 vehicles to be at Queensbay Mall on Sunday and that the mall had a total of 5,500 parking bays to accommodate the vehicles.

Two tow trucks will also be on stand-by at the mall to tow away vehicles that are left in non-designated parking areas.

“Vehicle owners are reminded to park their cars at the designated parking lots. Those who park their vehicles along the roadside and in non-designated areas will find their cars towed away by the enforcement team from the Penang Municipal Council. Vehicle owners will have to pay some amount of money when they go to retrieve their vehicles,” he added.

He also reminded owners to keep their valuables safely due to the rampant car break-ins during the previous marathons.

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