Monday, June 18, 2007

Malaysia's SMART Tunnel

With all the recent bad construction cases in Malaysia's goverment offices (where pipes burst, sewage system got stucked, roof came crashing down), we thought it was over.

So, smart thinkings must come up to overcome it. Came the SMART Tunnel project (short for Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel). Malaysia has built one of the smartest tunnel in linking two areas with heavy traffic, a way to cut down congestion. Regarded as the only such tunnel in the world.

Sadly, after the soft opening on 14 May 2007, it has shown its true colours. Cracks could be seen on the ceiling, side walls and the road itself. At the side, water could be seen dripping into the tunnel. Hello, I thought the water compartment at the third level has not started operations yet but water has already seeped in???? From where? You can see it for yourself in this youtube video link.

How does the tunnel works?
This part of the tunnel comprises of three compartment. The top two are for traffic whilst the lowest is used solely for drainage. During conditions of certain storms, both the lower and the traffic compartments would be required for water passage. At these times, the tunnel would be sealed from traffic before it is flooded.

Toll operations has started since 15 May 2007, RM2.00 one way for a 4km road trail. I'm using it ....hehehe but am I paying for something which didn't come properly built? Breach of contract by the construction companies that built this?

What if they open the lower level to storm water and it burst its compartment and flood the 2nd level? Though the SMART Tunnel could clear the tunnel in a few minutes if it intends to flood the 2nd level, is it ready for any water that could breach in from the 3rd level? So, I'm supposed to leave my car and run up the emergency staircase? Of course I'll do it if it really happens. People could say "Why am I questioning it now since I'm using it.....". I'm questioning it because I paid for the service it provided - consumers' rights!!

Was there a design flaw? The detailed engineering design was done by Matt MacDonald, a tunnel expertise in their field.
Tags: SMART Tunnel, Stormwater, Road Tunnel, Malaysia, Engineering, Engineering Design, Toll Operation, Matt MacDonald



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