Last updated Wednesday, September 17, 2014 07:16pm

The Second Penang Bridge will be open on March 1, 2014. — Picture by K.E. OoiThe Second Penang Bridge will be open on March 1, 2014. — Picture by K.E. OoiGEORGE TOWN, Feb 27 — Police will deploy about 500 officers to ensure the mammoth crowd of 10,000 visitors is safe during the opening of the Second Penang Bridge on Saturday.

Balik Pulau district police chief Supt Lai Fah Hin said the police officers would also be assigned to the “Mai Riuh” carnival to be held in conjunction with the official opening.

He said the event, organised by Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd, would be held from morning until midnight at a site within the Batu Maung interchange on the island.

About 5,000 visitors were expected to attend the programme starting from 8am, and another 10,000 visitors would be present for the bridge opening by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

There will be 15 shuttle buses to take visitors from the car park in Hilir Sungai Kluang to the carnival site.

Lai told reporters at the Balik Pulau district police headquarters that all roads leading to the new bridge would be closed at 5pm.

“Our traffic personnel will be around to guide motorists heading to the carnival and the opening ceremony,” he said.

RapidPenang will provide 19 free shuttle buses for visitors on Saturday.

Its operations chief executive, Khairul Hafiz Kassim, said two buses would ply along Teluk Kumbar and Bukit Jambul to ferry commuters to the carnival site from 10am at 40-minute intervals

“The remaining 15 buses will be plying around the special public car park area in Hilir Sungai Kluang to pick up motorists heading to the carnival site,” he said.

“Motorists however must use the same numbered-bus to go to the carnival and when they return.”

The Penang Second Bridge is 24km, making it the longest in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.

Costing RM4.5 billion, its construction started in 2008.

It serves as a second crossing between the mainland and the island after the first bridge was opened in 1985 and is expected to ease traffic on the first bridge by 20 to 30 per cent.