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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Require independent consultant for Kepong MRR2

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw proposes that the Government appoint an independent expert on elongated viaduct to investigate the reasons for the repeated cracks of the pillars of Kepong MRR2 (elongated viaduct or flyover).

Consultants such as Leonhardt who were previously involved in the repair of MRR2 may give a biased opinion. If we do not ascertain the real reasons for the recurrences, the people will continue to suffer.

Dr Tan presented the proposal during a visit to the MRR2 on 7.9.2008.

On 6 to 8 September, 2008, there was closure and diversion of traffic below the MRR2, so that the Public Works Department (JKR) could fix sensors on some of the pillars. Then, the German consultant investigates the reasons for the snapped reinforced carbon fibres.

Road users are inconvenienced. Will JKR get to the bottom of things?

Over 6 years ago, Bumihiway consortium was appointed as the contractor for the design-and-build project, estimated at RM 238 million.. But, the consortium did not specialize in elongated viaduct. It had to subcontract. The Government must find out the amount of commission it took.

For various reasons including poor workmanship and inadequate supervision, 31 of the 33 pillars cracked in 2004, 2006 and 2008. Hitherto, up to 8 foreign consultants were appointed.

In 2006, the former Works Minister favoured the British consultant, Halcrow. But, JKR objected. The matter was referred to the Board of Engineers which decided on the German consultant Leonhardt. Carbon fibres were used. The repair bill plus sundry expenses was RM 74 million. As the original contractor, Bumihiway, refused to pay, the Government is suing the company.

On 3.8.2008, pillar 28 of MRR2 cracked with three carbon fibres flayed. After putting on the sensors, Leonhardt is back to the scene.

Both Halcrow and Leonhardt took part in the study of MRR2 before, they may be prejudiced. As it is, Halcrow has said that carbon fibres lack ductility. The members of Board of Engineers are not experts on elongated viaduct.

We need an independent consultant. There are experts on elongated viaduct in universities.

Tan Seng Giaw


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