KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A long bridge that links Kampung Baru, a historic Malay village in Kuala Lumpur, and a major road near the Petronas Twin Towers was opened on Wednesday (Feb 5).
The Saloma Link, named after the wife of legendary Malay actor P.Ramlee, is likely to boost visitorship of the sprawling Kampung Baru from locals and foreign tourists.
The bridge's official opening at 2.30pm on Wednesday comes at a time when the Pakatan Harapan government is persuading landowners at Kampung Baru to get onboard a major plan to develop the area with tall, modern buildings.
The Malay enclave now contains a mix of old wooden houses to dilapidated residential and commercial buildings.
Kampung Baru and the upscale Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) area surrounding the Twin Towers are separated by the Klang river and a six-lane highway.
The Saloma link was commissioned by the Kampung Bharu Development Corporation (PKB). In an earlier interview with Bernama, PKB chief executive officer Zulkurnain Hassan said the Saloma Link stretches for 370m, with the span that crosses the river and highway being 69m long.
The project was built at a cost of RM31 million (S$10.4 million) with construction taking about 18 months.
The bridge's architecture is inspired by the sireh junjung concept - betel nut leaf arrangement - which is an integral part of a Malay wedding.
"The sireh junjung is among many other Malay-centric design ideas that we proposed to the client," said Azril Amir Jaafar, principal at the Veritas Design Group, the company that designed the aesthetics of Saloma Link and was also extensively involved in the master plan for the Kampung Baru redevelopment.
"On foot, it normally takes more than 30 minutes to get from KLCC to Kampung Baru, and across several busy roads.
"With the bridge, it will take pedestrians about seven minutes", said Zulkurnain.