At the dawn of an overcast yet auspicious morning, the authorities of new and old gathered with cyclists and joggers to celebrate the completion and official opening of the massive new spiral bridge – officially known as the Jambatan Harapan, the Bridge of Hope For those that are unaware, this is a nod to the name of the winning party in the recent election, the Pakatan Harapan.
Much revelry was had at this grand structure that finally allows pedestrians and cyclists a safe way across the busy Penang Lim Chong Eu Expressway – a link between Queensbay Mall and the industrial zone
After going around the spiral bridge, you will find yourself on a wide new bicycle path heading straight towards the largest (and busiest) roundabout in Penang, with Krystal Point on the right.
There is a stream (read: big ravine) that runs along the bike path. However, the refuse from the surrounding plants and factories has turned it into a foul-smelling cesspool of stagnant floaties.
Still needs to be some beautification on both sides of the bike path, but the spiral bridge itself is a grand testament to just how much Penangites like to cycle (and show off)!
I hope the Bridge of Hope stands strong as a testament to the mighty will of the people of Malaysia, as well as a proud hope for a better tomorrow from this day forward.
Introducing the brand new Spiral Bridge of Hope – right in time to usher in a new era of Malaysian history!
This circular landmark can be found a few klicks south from the popular Queensbay Mall on the south-east side of Penang Island.
And it’s purposefully made with pedestrians, runners and cyclists in mind!
Although I’m sure motorcyclists will find their way up it, as they do.
With a height of 11 metres, a length of over 250 metres, and a gradual 5 degree slope (compared to some of the more ridiculous slopes we have here in Penang), this bridge was designed to not only be accessible by the physically robust or those with motorised assistance; even the most inexperienced cyclist and pedestrian can easily make their way up this tower bridge.
The new spiral bridge will act as both a safe passageway across the highway as well as a magical lookout point to this side of Penang Island. Although not immediately apparent from below, at its peak there is a large circular platform that provides quite the view!
To the west you can see all the way into Penang’s heart and suburban central, and to the east you gaze upon both of Penang’s massive bridges as well as Pulau Jerejak just 800m across the channel.
Maybe not so sightly at the moment with all the reclamation going on.
It was a clever idea to incorporate a viewing platform into this bridge; in doing so its value has been multiplied tremendously. The bridge is now more than just another overhead bridge – it is a potent tourist hotspot, a gathering point for landscape photographers, a place to relax and look up at the open sky.
So where does it go?
The spiral bridge starts from the south of Queensbay Mall in Bayan Lepas and stretches west across Penang’s busiest highway – the Lim Chong Eu north-south expressway. It bends around the tennis courts of Intel and along Penang’s Free Trade/Industrial Zone.
This bridge will serve to connect the coastal Bayan Bay area with the Sungai Nibong and the Bayan Baru area where Penang’s largest roundabout and Krystal Point are. All in all the project cost a decent 8.9 million, which is perhaps a little more than I would pay, but what do I know about building bridges?
The reason it is unofficially known as the Spiral Bridge of Hope is because the party that overthrew the previous government stronghold is named the Hope Party (Pakatan Harapan).
So here’s to hoping this bridge remains a beacon of our dreams and wishes for Malaysia for many years to come.