Archive for the ‘SMART’ Category

Smart tunnel: They can only bluff the PM

June 26, 2007

This must be the joke of the century!

You don’t need to inspect the lowest level of the Smart system to know that MMC-Gamuda or the DID have not tested it for flood mitigation.

That’s not because they have admitted so but simply because they have not found a solution for desiltation.

What’s desiltation? You see, flood water being flood water, it’ s not clean. In fact, it is always full of mud (silt) and rubbish. That’s why after every flood, the biggest headache is washing the mud away (desiltation).

So, if the concessionaire or the DID really test the lowest level of the Smart system for flood mitigation, the entire level will be filled with mud. They have not thought of how to clean up the tunnels.

By now, you must have understood why they have not tested it earlier. And more so because both the inlet and outlet of the tunnels were not completed when Kuala Lumpur was hit with three flash floods all within two weeks in early June.

The authority has just announced that the entire tunnel is now completed on 23 June 2007 ( after heavy shelling by the PM one night after his new marriage). But that’s another “bullshit”. Why do I say that?

Just make a trip to Taman Desa and you would know what I mean.

They could only bluff the PM, who’s now away in Italy.

Two weeks ago, right before I went to inspect the Smart tunnel for the first time with other DAP MPs and engineers, I was having lunch at the restaurant next to the Danau Desa pond. At that point of time, the pond, which is part of the Smart system, was not ready for flood mitigation.

Even today, the pond is far from ready. It would not be ready in another 3 months according to the experts whom I have consulted.

This evening, I saw the workers were still busy widening and deepening the pond. And guess what, they have not even completed the outlet ( leaving the pond into Sg Kerayong).

Out of fear of another flash flood, as a temporary measure I guess, the contractors has just fixed some 10 GI (galvanised iron) pipes of various sizes to drain the water from the pond with the help of water pumps. Guess what, the water flows from the pond to a normal monsoon drain (only 2 feet wide by 4 feet deep) parellel to the main road, before discharging the water to a U-Culvert drains some 100 meters away. This U-Culvert drain is connected to the Sg Kerayong some distance “downstream”.

It appears to us that if there is another flash flood hitting KL in one of these days, the authority may really open up the lowest level of the Smart tunnel to test it out, and then relying on these pipes to drain the water to the normal monsoon drains (with the help of water pumps) and then to the U-Culvert drain before flowing into Sg Kerayong. So do not be too surprise if the entire road from Danau Desa to Old Klang Road area will be flooded ( the normal monsoon drains certainly could not cope with such influx of water from the pond).

Earlier, I was talking about how difficult it would be to do desiltation for the Smart tunnel. If they really open up the second level (and even the third level), imagine what would happen to the lightings, equipments and road furniture on these two levels, not forgetting about the desiltation works after the flood.

I would bet with bloggers that the authority may not have the guts to test the Smart system for water mitigation. Not even the lowest level if you asked me. Am I saying the authority may not even test the tunnnel for flood mitigation at all? You bet!

Last Saturday, at a briefing in Universiti Malaya on the Smart tunnel conducted by the DID chief , he obviously was embarrased by the DAP Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai who played the video clips (showing the massive leakages ) of the tunnel in the meeting.

Out of frustration, he made a “stupid” and irresponsible remark; he said that ” those who think the Smart tunnel was not safe, don’t use it.”

This fler also “bullshit” by saying that all the cost of building the Smart tunnel came from the concessionaire and “it’s ok ” to let them go bust!

In fact, the concessionaire only paid about RM600 million for the tunnel; the rest of the RM 1. 5 billion came from Malaysian taxpayers! If you asked me, he ‘s as arrogant as the great Samy.

Tomorrow morning at 11 am, DAP Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun will move a motion to debate on ” why the ‘Smart’ tunnel is actually not very smart”!

All the best to you, Sdr Fong.

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Stop collection for the “half-baked” SMART tunnel

June 16, 2007

I have just got back from a press conference at Cheras MP YB Tan Kok Wai’s office on  the issues of SMART system and KL floods. MPs present include Fong Kui Lun (Bukit Bintang), Teresa Kok (Seputeh) and Tan Kok Wai (Cheras).

The SMART cost RM2.168 billion to build, of which more RM1.5 billion was paid by the Federal Government. The developer MMC-Gamuda only paid about RM600 million. SMART was originally to be completed by end 2006. But it will only be ready by 23 June 2007.

SMART has started to collect toll fees on 15 June 2007 (RM2.00 one way) despite of the fact that it was uncompleted (the flood tunnels).

DAP have suggested that there must a stringent schedule of maintenance to ensure the safety and comfort of the tunnels and stop the collection of toll fees before the tunnels were compeleted on 23 June 2007.

Besides showing the video clips taken at the tunnels on 12 June 2007 (it’s now on youtube, under very “Smart” Tunnel in Malaysia), we have also released a statement prepared with the help of some experts…

Observations, Questions and Suggestions by a structural engineer after an inspection of the not so Smart tunnel on Tuesday (12 June 2007) afternoon…   

Observations… 

1.                   There are plenty of minor defects. Water was seen seeping through from both the soffits on the top and the slabs on the floors. These could be seen even with naked eyes if one travels with a low speed. One could see plenty of holes left behind by extensive pressure grouting. Grouting was carried extensively, indicating that structural hairline cracks were everywhere. But pressure grouting is only a temporary measure but certainly not a permanent or proper remedy.

2.                   The workmanship of the tunnels was poor and far from satisfactory in view of the high cost of construction (more than RM2.1 billion).

3.                   Cladding was done extensively on most parts of the tunnels. This is highly improper and unnecessary because cladding makes detection of defects (such as cracks) very difficult if not impossible.

4.                   Pressure grouting is an expensive process. It could runs into millions of ringgit over a period of time.

5.                   The ‘riding quality’ of the tunnels was very poor. Driving through the tunnels is not very pleasant.  

Questions… 

1.                   What is the actual cost of construction of the entire Smart system?

2.                   Why the foreign company involved in drilling of the tunnels abandoned the job? Was there a legal tussle between MMC- Gamuda and the foreign company who was trusted to do the drilling?

3.                   Why the government bulldozed through the project despite of the peculiar underground limestone structure, which makes drilling and construction of tunnels very difficult and uneconomical?

4.                   How effective the Smart system would be in terms of flood mitigation? The DID itself has openly admitted that the flood mitigation function of the Smart system, at the most, could only achieve some 60%. How the DID arrives at such conclusion?

5.                   If the entire Smart system could be used for flood mitigation, why cladding was done so extensively? And if the second level could also be used for flood mitigation as well (as reported by TV3 evening news on Wednesday 12 June 2007), what will happen to the lightings, equipments and road furniture? What kind of cocks and bulls story is this? 

Suggestions… 

1.                   Maintenance is utmost important for the tunnels. A stringent schedule of maintenance must be adhered to at all times to ensure the safety and comfort of the tunnel users.

2.                   No collection of toll fees to be allowed before the entire tunnel was completed for full operation (including flood mitigation). Precedent must not be set in this case. If the entire Smart tunnel system could only be completed on or after 23 June 2007, any collection of toll fees should only be imposed after the date of completion.

多處紕漏火箭促政府解釋
“精明渠道要多少錢維修?”

GuangMing Daily News 

updated:2007-06-16 19:01:23 MYT

■行動黨領袖一同觀看巡視精明渠道時所拍下的錄影片段。左起李映霞、方貴倫、郭素沁、陳國偉(坐者)及劉天球。(放大)
■行動黨指渠道的跑道和壁上出現水跡和漏水,希望政府解釋。(放大)
■專家指精明渠道出現多處紕漏,如地面有許多肉眼看見的裂痕。(放大)

(吉隆坡訊)行動黨雪隆區國會議員及領袖近日帶領專家巡視精明渠道,並發現渠道出現漏水、裂痕等紕漏。他們認為,政府有必要向人民交代精明渠道所面對的問題,並要求進行防洪大演習,以證明渠道是“真材實料”所打造的。

行動黨領袖今日(週六,16日)在蕉賴舉辦記者會,發表專家對精明渠道作出的評估。
行動黨中委劉天球向記者指出,他們於6月12日帶領一名建筑結構專家,前往巡視精明渠道。

指造價與品不符

他說,不便上報的專家事後作出5項結論和疑問,主要指精明渠道的品質欠佳,與耗資超過20億令吉打造的價格不符。

他聲稱,專家指渠道的地面和頂部多處出現裂痕,有的裂痕還在漏水。

他提出,他們發現渠道頂部有一排排的洞孔,專家指洞孔是維修裂痕及注入水泥(pressure grouting)所致,與甲洞第二中環公路出現裂痕時的維修手法相同。

“專家指這種維修方式非常昂貴,長久下來可要耗資百萬令吉。”

他們也發現,從新街場往市中心的路段沒有裝上天花板,可明顯看到裂縫和漏水問題處處。反而隆市返回新街場路段則蓋上天花板。

他聲稱,其他問題還包括跑道凹凸不平、緊急路段淹水等。

他說,政府已耗資龐大經費筑建精明渠道,但渠道至今卻出現各種紕漏,“我們迫切需要知道,渠道日後還要多少附加工程或維修費才夠?”

他指出,據知筑建精明渠道的承包商當初與另一家德國公司一同進行渠道礸洞工程,不過,後者不知為何在工程半途退出,並要起訴本地承包商。

他補充,他們要政府證實德國公司在筑建半途退出及起訴本地承包商的事件,並解釋精明渠道一切的紕漏及解決方法。

渠道是否有效防洪?
當局應進行水災演習

行動黨蕉賴區國會議員陳國偉指出,政府當初是以解決隆市水災問題而宣佈興建精明渠道,但精明渠道未完全啟用前,卻傳出渠道只能排解60%,甚至一半的豪雨量,令人民有受騙的感覺。

他認為,防洪精明渠道在還沒完全啟用前不應收費。“我們還不知道渠道是否有對防洪有效,當局應進行水災演習證明一切。”

隆地質不適建地下道

他週六在記者會上披露,隆市的地質不適合筑建地下隧道,這就是為何大馬一直不筑建地下鐵的原因之一。

“我們不明白政府在確知隆市不適合建地下隧道時,仍執意興建精明渠道,而且還要一道兩用(車行及防洪)。”

他提到,政府是精明渠道最大承包商,並有能力繳付所有工程費,但政府仍批准只耗資28.6%工程費的承包商向人民收取40年過路費。

武吉免登區國會議員方貴倫則說,精明渠道原定於2006年12月31日竣工,但工程拖延半年後才完成,而且沒向首相或人民匯報。

士布爹國會議員郭素沁聲稱,精明渠道是在環境評估報告仍末出爐前動工,這已嚴重破壞環境。

她認為,政府欲解決隆市水災問題,首要任務是進行良好城市規劃,而不是隨意發出批准,以致各地區在過度發展的情況下面對基本設施欠佳、水災等問題。

行動黨社青團國際秘書李映霞披露,政府應公佈精明渠道合約內容,並確保渠道的安全性,“因為政府是精明渠道最大的投資者,所以,納稅人有知到真相的權力。”

專家對精明渠道結論

  1. 渠道地面和頂部出現許多裂痕,肉眼看出許多水從裂縫流出。另有一排排維修裂痕及注入水泥的洞孔。
  2. 渠道的品質欠佳,與21億的工程費不符。
  3. 部份渠道筑上天花板,而部份渠道則沒有。
  4. 維修裂痕及注入水泥(pressure grouting)費用昂貴,長期的費用達數百萬。
  5. 道路凹凸不平。

專家疑問

  1. 除了原有的工程費,還需要多少的附加工程費及維修費?
  2. 承建精明渠道的德國公司突然退出,並起訴主要承包商,原因何在?
  3. 為何政府執意在不適合興建隧道的隆市建精明渠道?
  4. 精明渠道是否有效防洪?
  5. 曾有電視媒體報導,指精明渠道在有必要時開放所有渠道,包括車道排解豪雨。試問跑道理所有設備,如電燈、抽氣風扇、路牌等可否會一概被淹沒和沖走?

行動黨的建議

  1. 要求政府採取最嚴格工程,以確保渠道達到防洪及安全狀況。
  2. 要渠道末完全啟用前,不應徵收過路費。

(光明日報•2007.06.16)

Initial observations on the not so SMART tunnels

June 15, 2007

Someone alerted me about this piece of news in The Star (“Pool of water in the middle of tunnel” Thursday 14 June 2007 Page N6). The short report says that  “motorists using the SMART tunnel to travel from Jalan Tun Razak to Sungei Besi were shocked to find a pool of water along a 20m stretch of the emergency lane yesterday…Smart officials could not be reached for comments”.  

As promised in my blog last week, I will be conducting a PC together with DAP MPs tomorrow on the issue of KL floods and Smart tunnels. We are going to inform the public about our findings after inspecting the SMARTsystem with some engineering and water-proofing experts. 

Before that, let me share with bloggers an initial observations in the eyes of a water-proofing expert…  

An initial account on the Smart (Stormwater Management and Road tunnel ) 

  1. Too many structural hairline cracks on soffit of slabs and sides of Reinforced Concrete walls. Water marks are clearly visible on both incidences. And remedy work of pressure grouting have been carried out at an interval of 4” to 6” centre –to – centre on all the cracks.
  2. Eve the road slabs have cracks and also have been grouted. And there are few spots where water is seeping out and flowing.
  3. Previous leakage marks which have been treated have water stains which is clear to naked eyes.
  4. Certain portions of the soffit of slabs is covered with ceilings and painted up. Not sure of what was beneath the covers.
  5. Pressure grouting is only done when there were deep structural cracks and water seeping through it.
  6. Structural cracks can elongate due to vibrations, earthquake and movement of heavy vehicles. Elongation can go on for a long time and no proper remedy to it.

  Possibilities of structural hairline cracks

·        Due to thickness of concrete too thick, the curing of upper portion/ bottom portion not uniform. Hence shrinkage cracks come about.

·        Removal of formworks too early. Materials, workmanship and supervisions not proper.

·        Sides of wall concreting were not done properly and due to that, water seeping out of RC walls and road way slabs. Poor water -proofing and concreting could be the cause of leakages from the walls.

 

Other observations:

 

·        Road way finishes- too rough and uneven.

·        Areas to be repaired to soffit and slab are marked blue in colour. Floor slabs in blue circles and soffit with blue marking letters / nos.

 

June 4, 2007 Kuala Lumpur

KL floods and the not so Smart tunnel

June 4, 2007

Yes, flash floods striked KL again  last Sunday afternoon/night. And certainly more massive and serious than last Saturday night.

According to an Oriental Daily report today (metro frontpage), the entire Jalan Campbell (a.k.s Jln Dang Wangi) was flooded in the afternoon, causing a lot of problems and inconvenience to their headquarters staff.

On the previous night, water levels reached  ‘waist height’ in areas such as Salak South. Ampang and Pudu areas were also flooded heavily.

A friend of mine told me just now that the exit of the Smart tunnel at the Sg Besi section (just several meters from the designated toll booths) was closed for traffic on Saturday night (from about 8 pm) due to flash floods!

So much about the not so smart Smart ( Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel) tunnel!

I like to draw bloggers’ attention to a special report in The Star on Sunday 3 June 2007 Focus F31, titled “Tunneling their way to the big league”. The ‘mat salleh’ has said some very nice thing about the Smart tunnel.

Get a hardcopy (as I could not find a soft one) and read it. I reserve my comment on the article. I would report to bloggers after my second inspection.

Flash floods strike KL

jessy@thestar.com.my 

KUALA LUMPUR: Several areas in and around the city were hit by flash floods in the last two days with Jalan Duta the worst hit yesterday during a two-hour downpour. 

At the height of the downpour, many low-lying areas were submerged in at least one metre of water. 

In Jalan Duta, part of the road was cut off to traffic when a 0.5km stretch was submerged in 1.5m of water while in the opposite direction, the road heading towards Jalan Semantan had a fallen tree obstructing two of its lanes. 

A small portion of the road was also damaged by strong currents. 

Traffic nightmare: Part of Jalan Duta was cut off to traffic when a 500m stretch was submerged in 1.5m of water, while this side heading towards Jalan Semantan had a fallen tree obstructing two lanes.

A City Hall operations centre spokesman said other areas affected by the flash floods were Jalan Travers, Jalan Bangsar, Jalan Tun Sambanthan in Brickfields, Jalan Semantan and Jalan Universiti. 

The other affected areas were Jalan Tun Razak and Jalan Chan Sow Lin. 

The waters, however, receded within minutes after the rain stopped. 

The City Hall spokesman also said several areas in Salak South and Ampang were hit by flash floods when waters began to rise after it started raining at about 4pm. 

There were no casualties or major accidents reported during the downpour, he said, adding that some roads were hit by flash floods due to clogged drains and road construction. 

Trees along several roads were also uprooted but City Hall workers managed to clear them away.  

A Jalan Bandar Traffic Police spokesman said policemen were deployed to monitor and direct traffic, adding that the congestion eased after 7pm when the water levels receded.  
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KL floods: Smart Tunnels not so ‘smart’

June 3, 2007

Yes, it was raining cats and dogs last night. When I was attending a wedding dinner in Kuala Lumpur last night, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok told me that the main street of Salak South was under  3 feet of water and still rising. 

So, what has happened to the ‘flood solving’ Smart Tunnels? Aren’t the tunnels were completed and put into operation for about a month now? This was the question we asked among ourselves around the table. DAP SG Lim Guan Eng, Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai and Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun were also with us. 

Today’s The Star and other Chinese newspapers reports confirmed that Pudu, Salak South and Ampang were flooded yesterday evening ‘waist high’. Looks like the Smart Tunnels are not so ‘smart’ after all.

Also yesterday, I was alerted that the RM2.1 billion Smart Tunnels was a shoddy work. I have done an initial inspection with the help of a water-proofing expert in the afternoon and have taken some pictures(to be uploaded later).

What I saw was ‘very disturbing’  and ‘mind-boggling’. Those who traveled at high speed would not be able to see anything unsual. But wait till you slow down. Remember to switch on your hazard lights for the safety of yours and other tunnel users if you want to do so.

We are now looking for experienced and highly qualified structural engineers to help us to do a thorough inspection in the interest of all Smart Tunnels users. Any volunteers? Rest assured that we will not reveal the identity of the experts who helped us in the inspection.