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AECOM celebrates the official opening of Second Penang Bridge – the longest bridge in Southeast Asia

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Dr Robin Sham

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – AECOM Technology Corporation, a leading provider of professional technical and management support services for public and private clients in more than 150 countries around the world, recently celebrated the official opening of Second Penang Bridge in Malaysia – the longest bridge in Southeast Asia.

AECOM has played a key role in partnering with the contractor to deliver an innovative structure designed to withstand the severe seismic stress of a once-every-2,500-year earthquake.

Second Penang Bridge is a 24-kilometre (14.9-mile) bridge linking the Penang Island and the Malaysia Peninsula and is the largest civil engineering project in the past 20 years in the region. It consists of precast segmental concrete marine viaducts in 55-metre (180-feet) span modules and a cast in-situ concrete cable-stayed bridge measuring 475 metres (1,558 feet).

Working with the China Highway Planning and Design Institute (HPDI), AECOM was the consultant of China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) to provide feasibility studies, detailed design as well as pre-tendering and post-tendering services and site supervision since 2008. AECOM’s team in Malaysia, together with engineers from the long-span and specialty bridges group, worked in the design, construction supervision, and construction engineering of this record-breaking project.

AECOM also provided specialist consultancy on aerodynamics, navigation risk assessment and ship impact studies, seismic analyses, wind and structural health monitoring, fire hazard assessment, and resolution of construction challenges in the substantial marine piling operation. A special aspect of the project involved applying intelligent construction engineering techniques to enable successful erection of the 240-metre (787-feet) main span cable-stayed bridge over the main navigation channel.

“The Second Penang Bridge is subject to the merciless forces of nature, such as earthquakes, potential tsunamis, and wind, to name a few; and is exposed to a hostile marine environment. These challenges were overcome through meticulous planning and design, and the result is one of the world’s largest sea-crossing projects in recent years,” said Dr. Robin Sham, AECOM’s global long-span and specialty bridges director. “We have helped accomplish an immense human endeavor; creating many innovations along the way,” added Dr. Sham.