Sunday, August 3, 2008

MRR2 cracks again - Third Time closure of Flyover!

Middle Ring Road II Cracks Again!

This is the 3rd time!

After repairing it for RM70 million and engaging the German experts on the strengthening job, the fear of this concrete structural failures is back!

Today the police have to closed the flyover in Kepong to all traffic and the road below it after cracks appeared on a pillar.

City Deputy Traffic Chief DSP Ng Fook Long said today that police closed that section of the MRR2 at 10.30am following a directive from the Public Works Department (JKR) and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), adding that the cracks had appeared on Pillar 28.

A driver of the RapidKL bus service, Zainuddin Mohamad Taib, 37, said he was informed by another driver that he saw small stones falling from the flyover as he passed under it at 3.30 am. He said the police were informed.

This is the third time the 1.7-km MRR2 Kepong flyover has been closed because of cracks.

It was first closed in August 2004 and then for the second time in February 2006 for repairs.

(Source: NST and TheStar)


Halcrow Group Ltd, the British consultant appointed by the government to investigate the defects reported that it was a design flaw and improper anchorage of crossbeams on the concrete columns that caused cracks in 31 pillars of the MRR2.

This report was disclosed by the then Works Minister Samy Vellu at a press conference in Parliament on the 30th Sept. 2004.

Halcrow’s report was prepared by its bridge engineering director Roger J. Buckby and submitted to the Work’s Minister.

Samy Vellu had in August 2004 shot down questions of a design fault.

After receiving the Halcrow’s report, Samy finally admitted that it was the contractor’s fault as this is a Design and Built Contract awarded under the DB/T (2002) Contract Form.

The Halcrow report states that:

“The main cause of excessive cracking in the crosshead to the T-shaped pier is a deficiency in the design and the anchorage of the columns reinforced into the crosshead. There is also a deficiency in the design of the transverse reinforcement in the top of the crossheads to resist splitting forces between bearings. The horizontal cracking in the crosshead directly above the columns is a direct result of the inadequate anchorage of the column bars into the crosshead.”

Tan Sri Zaini Omar was the then Director-General of JKR who was in-charged of this project. He had since then retired and is now involved in the UEM-Penang 2nd Bridge Project and the Water Commission.


The Cabinet then decided to appoint a German consultant to spearhead repair work on the Middle Ring Road 2 in Kepong.

As reported on NST Feb. 22nd 2006, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said the decision was reached at the Cabinet meeting and the ministry’s secretary-general is discussing with the consultants on the conceptual layout of the work plan, which will be ready by the end of March 2006.

"They have assured us that the repair work on 31 pillars would be completed in 4 1/2 months," Samy said.

The cost is expected to be more than RM40 million. Samy Vellu said the cost was initially estimated to be around RM18 million but it has more than doubled after it was decided that all the 31 pillars need to be repaired simultaneously.

The flyover was finally re-opened on December 8th 2006 to traffic.

Samy Vellu said the remedial work, which began in March was completed on schedule, that is, December 2006. Samy may have forgotten that he had earlier stated that it will take 4 1/2 months from march, which should have been August, to be exact. Nevertheless, December wasn't that late.

On the February 1st, 2007, It was reported in TheStar that total repair cost was more than RM70 million, and not RM40 million.

THE Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has revealed that repairs to the MRR2 flyover in Kepong cost more than RM70mil.

The then PAC chairman Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said the figure was high compared with its construction cost – RM120mil.

He was quoted as saying that this reflected “shoddy design and construction concepts” that were approved by the Government when projects were given to contractors.

“There is no point in spending more and not being able to use it,” he said, adding that it was difficult to pinpoint who was responsible for the mistakes in such a project.

“As an example, the MRR2 project has the contractor and concessionaire constantly pointing fingers at each other. The problems were with the design and construction.”

Till today we do not understand why Shahrir Samad said it was difficult to point who was responsible for the mistakes in this project. This project is a Design-Built Contract under DB/T Standard Forms of Contract.

As stated in Clause 2.2 of the Contract: "The Contractor shall be fully responsible for the design, execution and maintenance of the Work/portion of the Works for which the design have been accepted by the Government, and shall absolutely guarantee the Government independent of fault that the design, materials and workmanship for the Works or portion of the works is suitable for the known requirement of the Government."

Under Clause 2.3.2, it is stated that the Contractor shall check the design and accept responsibility.

In Clause 2.6, it is stated that: "The Contractor shall take full and unequivocal responsibility for the safety of the design and for the adequacy, stability and safety of all site operations and methods of construction.

And in Clause 2.7.1, the Contractor shall be liable for any damage to the Works occassioned by him in the course of any operations carried out by him.

Under Clause 2.8.4, if there is any failure or event occurring in connection with the Works, or any part thereof, either during the execution of the Works or during the Defect Liability Period, any remedial or other work or repair shall, in the opinion of the Project Director (JKR D-G) be urgently necessary for the safety of the Works or the public and the Contractor fails to immediately do such work or repair, the Government may employ and pay other persons to carry out such work or repair as the PD may consider necessary; and the costs and charges properly incurred by the Government in so doing shall be recoverable from the Contractor by the Government.

The Government paid for the RM70 million from taxpayers' money and had never recovered any.

Now, we don't know how much more it will cost; and there may be possibility that the structure will have to be further strengthened by another RM70 million; Oops! the costs has now increased sharply since then. Ask JKR and you will know.

By the way, we now have a new Works Minister (Dato' Ir Mohd Zin Bin Mohamed) and a new PWD Director-General (Datuk Seri Professor Ir Dr Judin bin Abdul Karim). Both are certified Chartered Engineers. Let's hope they will come up with an effective solution. Who is going to pay? Contractors or Government again?

Note:

Package 11 of the MRR2 which covers a 4km stretch and cost RM238.8mil to build.

MRR2 was built by Sukmin Sdn Bhd, Bumihiway (M) Sdn Bhd and Konsortium Kontraktor Melayu (Wilayah).








Picture Source: The Star Gallery

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