Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks to reporters after officiating the newly-completed Esplanade seawall in George Town May 13, 2022. ― Pictures by Sayuti Zainudin
GEORGE TOWN, May 13 — The Esplanade seawall which was under a RM12.9 million upgrading work in the last three years is now finally completed and open to public.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who officiated the opening of the 570 metre promenade, said the state will allocate a further RM1.4 million for a linear garden that is adjacent to the Medan Renong hawker centre.
“The park will provide a place for people to relax after walking along the seawall,” he said.
He said the initial plan was to relocate Medan Renong and create a wide green open space like a public amphitheatre along the promenade.
However, due to the popularity of the hawker centre, he said the plan was changed to let the hawker centre remain at its current location.
“Medan Renong is a popular and famous place, it even went viral recently so it will remain there, we will not relocate it,” he said.
He added that the completed seawall project and the planned linear garden will bring more visitors to the hawker centre in the future.
Chow has also suggested that some of the historical cannons, found during works on the seawall, could be placed along the seawall.
He said five cannons were dug up and all of it was sent to Universiti Sains Malaysia for restoration works.
“Some of it was restored and sent to Fort Cornwallis,” he said.
The cannons were believed to date back to the late 1790s and early 1800s.
The Esplanade seawall is now finally completed and open to public.
The seawall upgrading project, fully funded by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP), started in late 2018 and was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
MBPP Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said the seawall project is a three-in-one project.
“The project is to strengthen the seawall, create green connectivity that we hope to extend all the way to Gurney Wharf and Straits Quay and it’s also a mitigation project,” he said.
He said the newly upgraded promenade has subsoil drainage to drain the water back to sea.
The seawall is part of an overall North Seafront Masterplan project that encompasses the whole Esplanade vicinity stretching from Dewan Sri Pinang to Fort Cornwallis and the entrance to Swettenham Pier.
Chow said there are about 14 projects costing a total RM140 million under the North Seafront Masterplan.
Out of the 14 projects, he said 10 were completed and among those completed included the Light Street pedestrian walkway, the English garden with its heritage fountain and the seawall.
Other projects under the master plan included the restoration of the Fort Cornwallis that included restoring its moat which is still in progress and the upgrading of Dewan Sri Pinang.