Cracks re-appear on MRR2?

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Cracks re-appear on MRR2?

Postby admin » Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:19 am

KUALA LUMPUR: City police closed off parts of the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) in Kepong here after suspicion that cracks have re-appeared on the elevated highway.

The route to Batu Caves has been closed off, City Deputy Traffic Chief DSP Ng Fook Long said on Sunday morning.

The closure has caused massive jams in part of the city.

Works Ministry staff are currently assessing the situation to confirm if cracks have re-appeared. The Minister is expected to issue a statement by 5pm Sunday.

The MRR2 is no stranger to this kind of controversy. In 2004, residents noticed cracks in 31 of the 33 pillars supporting the flyover.

Then the Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu at first maintained that the cracks were not due to any design flaw.

However, a consultants' study later found that design deficiencies and improper anchoring at the crossbeams were responsible for the cracks.

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Scare and jam on MRR2 as debris from pillar falls on cars

Postby admin » Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:59 pm

Kuala Lumpur: The Middle Ring Road II (MRR2) is structurally safe, despite a scare that saw a temporary closure of a ramp, leading to massive jams.

Works Minister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohd gave this assurance following a scare when three panels of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) fell from Pillar 28 of the highway yesterday morning.

Motorists were shocked when the panels fell from the pillar at 7.25am causing a 3km congestion that lasted for several hours. The ramp was temporarily closed.

However, the six-lane elevated section of highway will be reduced to four lanes near the Kompleks Desa for the next three weeks as a safety precaution pending an investigation.

Mohd Zin said an investigation would be carried out on the incident which came two years after RM70mil was spent to repair cracks that appeared on 31 of the 33 pillars. The highway was re-opened in 2006.

Pillar 28 was one of the affected beams then.

Mohd Zin said those responsible for the shoddy work and negligence would have to bear the cost of repairs.

“The Government will not bear any cost because the repair is still under warranty until the end of the year,” he said.

It is learnt that the German consultants responsible for the repairs on the 31 pillars had been told to fly in and fix the problem.

Mohd Zin said each pillar was toughened with 18 panels of CFRP that was meant to take the stress from passing vehicles.

However, the pillar is within international standards that stipulate that only 12 panels are needed for concrete support.

“Even without the three damaged strips, we still have 15 more panels to support Pillar 28,” said Mohd Zin when he visited the site yesterday.

For safety reasons, he said only four of the six lanes on the highway would be opened for the next three weeks.

Asked what might have caused the damage, Mohd Zin said tensile stress on the highway might have been too much for the CFRP to bear. He said the other pillars would also be checked.

Asked why the concrete on Pillar 28 fell after repairs were made, Mohd Zin said he would reveal the reasons after investigations were completed.

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PM disappointed over MRR2 damage

Postby admin » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:01 pm

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is disappointed that damage has re-appeared on the Middle Ring Road II (MRR2 despite the Government having spent RM70mil just two years ago to rectify a similar problem.

The Prime Minister said this could have been avoided if parties responsible had ensured earlier repair works were done accordingly and properly so that damage does not occur again in such a short span of time.

"When I read the newspaper headlines on my way here, I knew the public would not be happy. In fact, some will be pretty angry knowing that there is damage at the MRR2, even after spending a huge amount of money to repair it earlier.

"This could have been easily avoided if those responsible had ensured that earlier repair works were done properly. If this had been done, there would be no damage and the rakyat would not be fuming," he told staff of the Prime Minister's Department Monday at its monthly gathering.

What was more worrying, the Prime Minister said, was if accidents, catastrophe or even deaths were to occur if the damage on the MMR2 caused the road to collapse.

Three panels of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) fell from Pillar 28 of the highway on Sunday morning, but the Works Ministry said the MRR2 is structurally safe despite a scare that saw a temporary closure of a ramp.

The six-lane elevated section of the highway has been reduced to four lanes near the Kompleks Desa for the next three weeks as a safety precaution pending an investigation.

Works Minister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohd said an investigation would be carried out on the incident, which came two years after RM70mil was spent to repair cracks that appeared on 31 of the 33 pillars. The highway was re-opened in 2006.

Abdullah also reminded civil servants of the importance of providing good administrative and management services, saying that since the people were directly affected by services provided by civil servants, they would either be happy or "terribly angry" with the way the Government was run.

"We can avoid the people's wrath by ensuring that we serve with a positive attitude and with efficiency. We should not do things that would anger the people and make them perceive that civil servants are a corrupted lot.

"Good traits are needed to avoid accusations and it is easy to accuse anyone nowadays, especially when there is the Internet and there is no limit to what you can do with it. I am not saying that all those who blog and uses the Internet are not good.

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Caught in a surprise traffic jam MRR2 spoils Sunday mood

Postby admin » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:02 pm

KUALA LUMPUR: Motorists expecting a smooth Sunday drive were caught in a massive jam after pieces of concrete fibre fell from Pillar 28 of the Middle Ring Road II (MRR2) and part of the road was closed.

Traffic was reduced to a crawl at about 7.30am when several chunks of the concrete fell from the pillar near Desa Complex onto the road heading towards Batu Caves.

The jam stretched over 3km to the Bandar Sri Damansara toll plaza after the three-lane road was reduced to one.

It started to ease at about 5pm after all lanes were re-opened.

Traffic on the other side was also reduced to a crawl as motorists slowed down to see what was happening.

Workers used a crane to peel away the remaining dangling pieces of concrete and conduct inspection works.

They wrapped the damaged part of the pillar to prevent more pieces of carbon fibre concrete from falling.

The incident sparked fears among motorists as Pillar 28 was one of the 31 pillars found with cracks in 2004.

RapidKL traffic controller Zainuddin Md Taib, 37, was among those who saw the debris falling down after he reported for duty at the bus station next to the pillar.

“When I first saw it, there was only a little bit coming out. At 7.25am, several chunks of concrete fell on two passing vehicles,” he said, adding he called the police who arrived minutes later to direct traffic.

A frustrated motorist, identified as Aishah, 27, who was on her way to Genting Highlands from Tanjung Karang, said she was stuck in the jam for two hours at about noon.

She said the authorities should have made announcements immediately to alert motorists of the incident.

Many motorists came out of their vehicles to find out what had caused the jam.

Kepong MP Dr Tan Seng Giaw, who was at the scene at 11am, said he was concerned about the safety of motorists and wanted repair works done fast.

He said there must be answers from the Works Ministry because there had been guarantees of safety after repairs were made and the highway re-opened in August 2006.

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Repair on cracked pier of Kepong MRR2 begins tomorrow

Postby admin » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:03 pm

Preliminary works are to begin tomorrow on the cracks which have appeared on Pier 28 of the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) flyover in Kepong.

Deputy Director-General of Public Works I Datuk Mohamad Husin said in a statement today the decision was reached at a meeting of Public Works Department (JKR) experts, representatives of the consultant and the contractor here today.

He said JKR had set up a special task force to Investigate and supervise repairs by the contractor.

The flyover and the road beneath it were closed from 10.30 am to 5 pm yesterday when cracks appeared on Pier 28 after three of the 18 carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) on Pier 28 peeled off early yesterday and some clumps of concrete fell onto the road.

Mohamad said there had been no new cracks nor had old cracks reappeared since yesterday.

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Najib promises a full probe into MMR2 problems

Postby admin » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:04 pm

PEKAN: An in-depth investigation will be conducted into the problem-riddled Middle Ring Road 2 flyover following the closure of part of the 1.7km stretch yesterday.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who gave the assurance yesterday, said the Works Ministry would conduct the investigation and prepare a report for the cabinet.

Speaking after presenting prizes to winners of the third round of GP Joran, organised by Berita Harian, in Kuala Pahang here, Najib said the matter would be discussed at the cabinet's weekly meeting.

"There is a need to find out why the cracks occurred and who is responsible."

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Close call for two as concrete falls on cars

Postby admin » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:05 pm

KUALA LUMPUR: Two motorists cheated death after small chunks of concrete from Pillar 28 of the Middle Ring Road 2 flyover hit the roof of their cars yesterday.

The two were heading towards Batu Caves from Sungai Buloh.

A witness, RapidKL bus attendant Zainuddin Mohamad Taib, said he saw chunks of plaster from Pillar 28 hitting the roofs of the cars.

"The drivers were lucky as they immediately moved over to the side of the highway to check their cars," said Zainuddin, who alerted the Fire and Rescue Department.

The 37-year-old said he was aware of cracks on one of the pillars.
Another witness, lorry driver Sundar Kandarsamy, 30, said the cracks were quite visible.

"Somebody could be killed if the pillar gives way."

Motorist Tan Shing, who uses the MRR2 daily, said he was fed up with the situation.

"This is the third time. It is an inconvenience to everyone because the congestion is terrible," he said.

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ACA to reopen files on MRR2 over graft claims

Postby admin » Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:20 am

PUTRAJAYA: The Anti-Corruption Agency will reopen its files on previous allegations of corruption in the construction of the Middle Ring Road 2.

It is also planning to question the contractors involved in building the RM238.8 million highway (Package 11) which has so far incurred an additional RM70 million in repairs.

ACA sources said the agency would relook previous investigation papers in determining whether charges could be pressed this time around.

In the latest incident on Sunday, parts of the nine-year-old MRR2 had to be closed for repairs over a three-week period after pieces of concrete fell from its pillars.

The flyover and road below it were closed from 10.30am to 5pm on Sunday after cracks appeared on Pillar 28 after three of the 18 carbon fibre straps on the pillar peeled off and some clumps of concrete fell on the road and several cars.

Works Minister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed later ordered the closure of two of the six lanes on the left of the flyover for its team of consultants to study the damage.

In February 2006, the ACA received a report lodged by the Indian Progressive Front (IPF) party on problems involving the MRR2.

The MRR2 had been closed twice before this: on Aug 9, 2004, after cracks were found on 31 of its 33 pillars as a result of improper anchoring of the cross-beams and in February 2006 when it was closed for safety reasons.

In the interim period, independent consultant, Halcrow Consultants Ltd from the United Kingdom, conducted studies.

The affected stretch was partially reopened in November 2004 to light vehicles before the eventual closure.

More repairs were conducted and the highway was reopened in December 2006.

Meanwhile, Public Works deputy director-general 1 Datuk Mohamad Husin, when contacted, said the MRR2 task force would study the incident closely.

"We will be following up on the issue closely including looking at reports submitted by Halcrow," he said.

He said German consultants, Leonhardt, Andra and Partner will continue to remain the official consultant.

"It was a collective decision by the government (to use carbon fibre straps) but the task force will study the damage while our engineering forensic experts will investigate the cause of the cracks."

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Samy Vellu: No comments

Postby admin » Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:21 am

KUALA LUMPUR: The man who promised last year that the Middle Ring Road 2 would be "safer than ever" does not want to be drawn into Sunday's near-catastrophic incident when chunks of concrete fell on cars.
Former works minister Datuk Seri Samy Vellu said he was leaving the matter to Works Minister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed as he was no longer the minister.

"I am an ordinary person. No comment. It is unfair for me to make any comments as there is already a minister.

"Only the minister should be able to say what should be done. He has already gone to the site. He made a statement and I have read it," he said when reporters asked him to comment on the matter.

He said he would only answer questions from a Government-appointed panel of inquiry on the matter
"There are many things in my head. I will only answer if there is an inquiry from within," he told journalists.

He had been asked about a suggestion that an independent panel of inquiry be set up to investigate the cracks that had developed on the MRR2.

"I won't say anything about it. That is the desire of the public. Let the government do what it likes. I have no comments on it," he said.

A day before the MRR2 was reopened last year to traffic, Samy Vellu had said that the road had a safety standard of 1.7 which was higher than the 1.5 British Standard benchmark.

On Sunday parts of the MRR2 had to be closed for repairs for three weeks after pieces of concrete fell from its pillars.

Mohd Zin later ordered the closure of two of the six lanes on the left of the flyover for its team of consultants to study the damage.

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Samy Vellu ready to testify on MRR2 issue before independent

Postby admin » Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:22 am

Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu is willing to testify over the cracks appearing on the Middle Ring Road II (MRR2) flyover should an independent commission be set up to investigate the matter.

The former Works Minister said it was unfair for him to give a statement on the issue right now as he was no longer the (Works) Minister.

He said the current Works Minister, Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed, was working on it.

“I won’t answer anything on the MRR2 issue at the moment. I will only answer if there is an inquiry, and not outside,” he told reporters when asked to comment on the issue at the MIC headquarters here today.

Last Sunday, the MRR2 flyover in Kepong was closed to traffic for about seven hours from 10.30am, following cracks which appeared found on the flyover, forcing two of the six lanes to be closed to traffic for repairs for three weeks.

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'Department told not to use carbon straps'

Postby admin » Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:23 am

KUALA LUMPUR: The carbon fibre reinforced plastic straps supposed to strengthen the pillars beneath the Middle Ring Road 2 gave way on Sunday because of their limited ability to undergo change without breaking.

Halcrow's senior consultant (bridge engineering) Roger Buckby said the company advised the Public Works Department in 2005 not to use such carbon fibre straps because of the problem of ductility.

"We advised them not to use carbon fibre straps because of its limited ductility (but the department proceeded with using the carbon fibre straps)," he said when commenting on how three of the 18 carbon fibre straps on one of the 33 pillars on the MRR2 could have peeled off on Sunday.

He said cracks found on 31 of the 33 pillars of the flyover in 2004 were initially caused by a design flaw and poor reinforcement detailing.

The primary cause, however, was the delayed ettringite formation (DEF) which caused Halcrow to recommend that carbon fibre straps should not be used for strengthening the pier heads.

DEF is believed to be a result of improper heat curing of the concrete to strengthen a structure.

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MRR2 declared safe, one lane remains closed

Postby admin » Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:03 am

PUTRAJAYA: The Middle Ring Road 2 has been declared safe, three days after chunks of concrete from a pillar fell on several cars.

However, a lane at the spot where the incident occurred on Sunday will be closed for repairs for the best part of the next three weeks.

Acting Works Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said yesterday this was a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of road users.

Initial reports had revealed the cracks reappeared due to "additional work" carried out during repairs on some of the pillars supporting the flyover.

"Road users have nothing to worry about.

"I want to give an assurance that structurally, MRR2 has been certified safe and strong with the defects being minor," Mohamed Khaled said, adding that only three of the 18 carbon fibre reinforcement straps on the pillar were broken.

"We are investigating why these straps gave way while straps on other pillars remained intact."

He said the affected stretch was still under the defect liability period, which would end on Nov 10.

"The MRR2 project was initially undertaken by a company. However, when defects appeared, another company was appointed to carry out repairs."

Mohamed Khaled, who is also higher education minister, added that such defects "were normal for contract works and there is nothing to worry as the flyover is safe".

On reopening the files of previous allegations of corruption in the construction of MRR2, Mohamed Khaled said there was no stopping the Anti-Corruption Agency from doing its work.

The ACA is also planning to question the contractors involved in building the RM238.8 million highway (package 11), which has so far incurred an additional RM70 million in repairs.

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Firm must pay for repairs on MRR2

Postby admin » Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:07 am

PUTRAJAYA: The Public Works Department has identified a company that carried out repairs to the Middle Ring Road II (MRR2) two years ago as being liable for the fresh damage that occurred last week.

“It has nothing to do with the original contractor Bumihiway (M) Sdn Bhd. A second company that carried out the repairs is liable,” said Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, who is acting Works Minister.

He added that the repairs undertaken in 2006 were still under the defect liability period which ends on Nov 10.

“As such the second company is liable for the damage that occurred and has to pay for the repair works, not the government,” said Mohamed Khaled.

Three lengths of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) broke off from one of the pillars in the MRR2 on Aug 3.

Each pillar is supported by 18 lengths of CFRP.

“The Public Works Department will investigate why the breaks occurred. This will take three weeks. The repairs to the MRR2 will also take three weeks,” said Mohamed Khaled after chairing his ministry’s post-Cabinet meeting.

The PWD has also given an assurance that the MRR2 is safe for use.

“That’s why the road was not closed altogether, just one lane on each side to facilitate repairs,” he said.

The six-lane elevated section of the highway was reduced to four lanes.

On motorists’ fear that heavy vehicles were still using the ramp, Mohamed Khaled said that he would inform PWD but that the final decision would be left to them.

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Public Accounts Committee to probe MRR2 fiasco

Postby admin » Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:23 am

KUALA LUMPUR: The Public Accounts Committee will probe the Middle Ring Road II (MRR2) damage but will not call former Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu for questioning as he is no longer the minister.

PAC chairman Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid said the committee would visit the site on Tuesday with some Public Works Department (PWD) officers for a clearer picture of the situation.

He said it would not be relevant to call Samy Vellu as he is no longer in charge.

"We will get an explanation from the relevant authority and JKR is responsible for it at the moment.

"If needed, we will call the minister in charge (Datuk Mohd Zin Mohd)," he said Monday after chairing a PAC meeting in Parliament.

Earlier this month, three panels of carbon fibre reinforced plastic fell from Pillar 28 of the highway, which led to the closure of part of the highway, causing a massive traffic jam.

Mohd Zin then assured motorists that the highway was structurally safe and said PWD had identified a company that was responsible for the repair two years ago.

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MRR2 cracks: Samy Vellu not required to face committee

Postby admin » Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:36 am

KUALA LUMPUR: Former works minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu will not be called to face the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) over the recent Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) incident.

Instead, the Public Works Department will be required to brief the committee on the Aug 3 incident where chunks of concrete fell from one of its pillars.

PAC chairman Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid said Samy Vellu would not be summoned as he was no longer a minister.

"When he was minister, he was responsible, but today, he is no longer (the minister responsible)," he said after chairing the committee's first meeting yesterday in Parliament.

The MRR2 has since been declared safe. However, a lane at the spot where the incident occurred is closed while repairs are being carried out over the next two weeks.

Azmi said since the Public Works Department is responsible for MRR2, it was more appropriate for the PAC to call the department to give an explanation. He added the committee would visit the site of the incident today.

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