PONTIAN: The long-awaited bridge across Sungai Pulai here may be open as early as next month, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng.

With the opening of the 7.5km bridge, the current hour-long journey from Tanjung Pelepas Port (PTP), Gelang Patah to Tanjung Bin here should be cut to as little as 15 minutes.

The current road distance from Johor Baru and PTP to Tanjung Bin is around 70km and 57km, respectively.

“We are just waiting for the date (for the opening), which is expected to fall either this month or next month,” said Wee, who is the Tanjung Piai MP.

“The locals would benefit greatly from the bridge once it opens. Not only will this provide more job opportunities, it will also drive more investments into Pontian and Tanjung Piai,” he said when met during the Pekan Nenas Mid-Autumn Festival at SJK (C) Yu Ming on Saturday night.

“We need to also prepare to reap the benefits of this bridge, including producing more human capital to work in the industries that would develop further following the opening of the bridge,” he added.

Wee said the bridge would also reduce congestion here as it provides road users with an alternative road between Pontian and Johor Baru.

“The bridge will also drive the tourism industry further.

“Even now, we can see areas around Kukup are filled with Singaporean visitors, especially on weekends.

“This is expected to improve further once the bridge has opened up,” he said.

On the event, Wee, who is also Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister, said he was glad to see people coming together again to celebrate such a joyous occasion.

“It is nice to see family coming out again to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival after over two years of being house-bound due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This is a very important festival for the Chinese community and it is also a chance for us to share our culture with the community,” said Wee, who added that the festival has attracted over 1,000 people from all walks of lives.

During the event, he also took part in a 2km parade with the community here.