||What is the nature of the joint venture between Gamuda and MMC Corp? How did the partnership come about?
This is a 50-50 partnership that came about as a result of mutual interests. We believe our combined expertise will be a strategic advantage in the SMART project, a project that is crucial to public interest. The losses incurred by both the individual and businesses during a flood after heavy downpour - in terms of earnings lost as the case of the taxi drivers and time wasted as traffic crawls to a virtual standstill. Indeed, no less important, is the image of our country as we try very hard to boost Malaysia as a tourist destination. These are important factors that have contributed to the birth of the SMART PROJECT.
||How will the project be financed?
SMART's unique financial package is another feature of the project that has received wide global attention and accolade. The JV came up with an option to finance part of the project by incorporating a motorway within the stormwater tunnel. This reduces the government financing to only two-third of the project cost.
||What is SMART?
The Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel is a flood mitigation project that the Government wants to implement to deal with the flooding problems that KL is confronted with each time it rains heavily. Our rivers today do not have the capacity to hold all the water and there are space constraints to consider for river improvement works. KL suffered serious damages during the flash flood in April and October 2001 and June 2003. Lives were lost. Studies undertaken by the various Government agencies showed constraints at the confluence of Sg. Klang and Sg. Ampang (behind Gleneagles Hospital) and the confluence of Sg. Gombak with Sg. Klang (Masjid Jamek) thus causing water to rise at the Jalan Tun Perak Bridge. The SMART project aims to divert the water entering this critical location of the Sg. Klang via a holding basin, storage reservoir and the by pass tunnel.
SMART is a twin system, consisting of a stormwater channel and a motorway, incorporated into a single infrastructure.
||What were the main considerations for selecting the Jalan Ampang, Jalan Tun Razak-Sg Besi as the alignment for the SMART project?
Studies indicate that the confluence of Sg. Ampang and Sg. Klang is a critical location and causes flood when the water level rises. So, our engineers had to look for optimum points to locate the holding basin, the storage reservoir and the bypass tunnel. KL city center has major constraints in terms of space for river widening and for the construction of flood retention ponds. In designing the alignment, we had to be careful to minimize land acquisition and to avoid/minimize disruption to existing development.
||What are the safety features in SMART?
Safety in motorway tunnel is of paramount importance and absolute priority to us. We will install many safety features to ensure public safety. These features will be highlighted at a latter time.
The common question is how safe is the tunnel and will the vehicles in the motorway be submerged during an emergency. SMART is probably the only system that has incorporated the most number of emergency and contingency features in its operation system.
As safety of vehicles in the motorway will be of paramount importance, SMART has additional features that are unique over and above the features seen in a normal motorway tunnel. The main features are:
- Automated Flood Control Gates: the water tight gates are installed on either ends of the motorway tunnel (within the stormwater section). In addition similar single flood control steel gates will be installed at both entrances and exits of the motorway tunnel. These gates will be operated with a hydraulic system.
- Cross Passage between decks at 250m intervals: the passage acts as emergency exits during an emergency.
- Ventilation/ escape shafts at 1km intervals: these powerful air ventilators will constantly renew the air and maintain the air quality within the motorway. To protect the ventilation system during the flooding, the system consists of a series of shafts each containing an exhaust and fresh air injector. This design enables the fans to be situation outside the SMART tunnel to create a longitudinal flow in the tunnel between the shafts that permits the air in the tunnel to be continuously renewed and the extraction of the exhaust fumes. The feature also allows for smoke control in the event of a fire.
- Equipped with fire fighting equipment, telephone and surveillance at 1 km interval
||Once SMART is in place, will the city folks be rid off the flash floods and traffic jams after heavy downpour?
Studies have shown that where Sg. Klang meets Sg. Ampang and the Sg. Gombak meets Sg. Klang are the flood prone areas and the Jalan Tun Perak Bridge can only manage a certain level of flood discharge. The SMART PROJECT when completed will help divert water from entering the critical location in the Sg. Klang. We would like to correct the misconception that SMART would be able to resolve the flooding in the city centre by itself. There are the Sg Bunos and Sg Gombak that contribute to floods in the city centre. There are other flood mitigation projects undertaken by JPS besides SMART which would then resolve the flooding woes in the city centre. Then again, there is such a thing called the life span, SMART has its limitation which is dependent on other factors such as future development. SMART addresses floods caused by overflow of rivers and do not address flash floods caused by a myriad of other localized problem such as clogged drains and so on.
||Will the motorway be tolled? How much will it cost for motorist to use the motorway?
Tolling is very much a government prerogative in terms of timing and rate. The Work Ministry will make the announcement on tolling
||Which ministries and government agencies are involved in the project?
As this project involves flood mitigation and motorway, it falls under the jurisdiction of Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia and Malaysian Highway Authority.
||What is the cost of the TBM?
RM200 million each.
||Why use TBM instead of conventional tunneling methods?
- prevents/reduces incidences of settlement on the surface by managing and
- controlling unstable ground conditions
- fast/ efficient
- minimizes disruption/disturbances to existing development and traffic
- able to better control water entering the tunnel which will reduce water table draw down/consolidation settlement
- continuous operations- the tbm can operate round the clock
- less rock damage
- less support requirement
- higher advance rates
- greater worker safety
- potential for remote, automated operation
- minimum land acquisition