November 8, 2008
Construction began on a new and record-setting dual carriageway (divided highway) toll bridge in the Malaysian state of Penang. The Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge was formally designated Expressway 28 (E28) and is also known as the Penang Second Bridge. The building of this bridge was originally expected to be done by May 2012. As it turned out, however, that work was actually not completed until February 2014. The new structure was formally opened the following month.
The nighttime dedication ceremony for the bridge was marked by a great deal of fanfare, including a fireworks display. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak officially announced during the ceremony that the bridge was being named after Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah, who had reigned as the sultan (sovereign ruler) of Kedah on mainland Peninsular Malaysia since 1958. When the bridge named after him was opened, he was also serving as Malaysia’s elected monarch and head of state (Yang di-Pertuan Agong). At the time of his death in 2017, Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah was second only to Queen Elizabeth II of England as the world’s longest-reigning living monarch.
With one lane for motorcycles and two lanes for other motor vehicles, the bridge carries traffic over the Penang Strait and links the township of Bandar Cassia in the Sebrang Perai region of mainland Peninsular Malaysia with the town of Batu Maung on Penang Island. The bridge was only the second one to connect Penang Island with the mainland; the first such structure, which is called the Penang Bridge, made its debut in 1985. The total length of the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge is 15 miles (24 kilometers), with 10.5 miles (16.9 kilometers) of the structure crossing over water. It is the longest bridge not only in Malaysia but all of Southeast Asia. For more information on the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge (Penang Second Bridge), please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultan_Abdul_Halim_Muadzam_Shah_Bridge.