Saturday, August 18, 2012

Waiting for an accident to happen

KUALA LUMPUR -- The level of safety at the Middle Ring Road (MRR2) here is being questioned again as several users have expressed their anxiety, claiming two viaducts on the 35km expressway 'swayed' during heavy traffic.

They alleged that the situation at the expressway, which was regarded as extraordinary,  could be clearly felt when trapped on the viaducts in Kepong and the Flamingo Hotel junction in Ampang, during heavy traffic.
According to Mohd Rizal Azman, 30, the swayings on the viaduct in Kepong were repeatedly felt especially when the number of vehicles increased, and during rain.     Mohd Rizal, who stays in Flora Damansara and often uses the route to send his wife to her place of work in Selayang, said the swaying incident was extraordinary compared to the shaking he often felt prior to this.
"I use the route almost everyday, other that sending my wife to work, I also  use the expressway to go to my father's house in Batu Caves every weekend.    
"I admit the viaduct will shake during heavy traffic, that is normal, but the swaying felt lately is very different and it is like a mini earthquake which makes us feel like we are swinging," he told Bernama, here, today.
The anxiety was shared by former chairman of the Malaysian Press Institute chairman, Datuk Seri Azman Ujang, who regarded the incident as abnormal and needed the immediate attention of the authorities concerned.
He said the experience he went through last Wednesday night was quite disturbing because it felt as though the viaduct was moving.
"I was really shocked, as if there was a small earthquake in Kuala Lumpur, and it went on for more that 10 seconds. I observed that there were no heavy vehicles near me.
"I definitely am aware of this problem in MRR2. I thought the problem of the viaduct shaking was solved after repairs were made but it is still happening and the situation is worse," said Azman, who was on his way to a breaking-the-fast function in Damansara.

Azman, who is also former general manager of the Malaysian National News Organisation (Bernama), said he hoped the situation could be monitored immediately.
He said the Public Works Department and Kuala Lumpur City Hall, which were responsible for the expressway, must review the strength of the viaducts.
Prior to this, the Kepong viaduct was closed three times from 2004 when Kepong residents revealed that 7,000 cracks were found on 31 of the 33 pillars of the viaduct.
The route was fully closed down following the detection of more serious damage at the viaduct, two years later.
On Aug 3, 2008, the viaduct was closed for the third time when cracks were discovered at the 28th pillar forcing the government to allocate RM70 million to repair the viaduct, which can accommodate 5,000 vehicles at any one time.    
Meanwhile, a woman, who also felt the same experience when she was on the viaduct at the Flamingo Hotel junction, said 'the swinging or swaying' during the incident was extraordinary compared to the shaking she felt when using the route previously.
The woman, who declined to be identified, said the situation could be caused by the engineering technology used on the viaducts, but if otherwise, the incident must be given attention to avert any untoward incidents.
"Prior to this, the situation was not too obvious, but when I really stopped on the viaduct because of the congestion, I felt as if I was swaying," she said.
A total 130,000 vehicles, including trailers, use the MRR2 route, which connects the Kepong and Selayang areas to Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya, daily since it opened in 2002. -- BERNAMA
Remember Highland Towers.
The authorities have a tidak apa attitude regarding their responsibilities until something bad happens.  Then everyone will jump and the blame game begins.
This is the way we are taught for the past 30 years.  Everything is about demanding a share of commission for a project.  By the time it reaches the actual contractor to do the job there is very little to make.  In order to cover cost and have a tiny sum to survive until the next project, low quality materials are used. 
In the end lives are lost just to make the politicians rich.

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