IT HAS been two years since Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak launched the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit Sungai Buloh–Kajang Line (KVMRT SBK Line) on July 8, 2011 and construction since then has been rapid.
The 51km line to cater for the growing population in the Klang Valley is the country’s single largest public infrastructure project to-date. It runs from Sungai Buloh to Kajang, and comprises elevated and underground sections.
Works on the elevated sections are divided into two segments — the northern V1-V4 packages and southern V5-V8 packages, while the underground works begin from the Semantan North Portal to the Maluri South Portal.
As of July, construction progress for the SBK Line — the first of the three MRT lines — is now advancing at full speed with major works under way at various stages for both the elevated and underground sections.
“We are certainly moving in the right direction as all elevated packages from V1 to V8 are advancing quickly.
“Overall, land clearing, utilities relocation, piling and pier construction works at various stages are progressing smoothly at all elevated sections.
“We are gearing towards viaduct construction over the next few months, where you will be seeing a continuous series of piers built along major roads and highways as we launch Launching Gantries (LGs) to build the permanent viaduct guideway,” said MMC Gamuda KVMRT (PDP) Sdn Bhd deputy construction director Adil Putra Ahmad.
An LG is an advanced construction method that uses a high-strength steel structure to erect and seamlessly join a sequence of Segmental Box Girders (SBGs) to form the viaduct guideway for the elevated sections.
Designed and equipped with proven safety mechanisms in place, LGs are able to withstand a combined weight of up to 800 tonnes (800,000kg). Despite its hefty weight and colossal size, most of the viaduct construction works for the SBK Line will take place alongside major highways and will have minimal interface with motorists and the public.
“As of now, we have actively engaged LGs in northern elevated packages V1 and V2, and southern elevated packages V5 and V6. At peak productivity, some 17 to 20 LGs will be operating simultaneously in both northern and southern sections,” said Adil.
He added that up to 90% of the elevated guideway for the SBK Line would be built using LGs, a well established and safe construction technique that had been used internationally.
Moving in sync with all the intensive construction work happening on the elevated sections, the underground section of the SBK Line is equally abuzz with activities.
“All seven underground MRT stations between the Semantan North Portal and Maluri South Portal, namely KL Sentral, Pasar Seni, Merdeka, Bukit Bintang Central, Pasar Rakyat, Cochrane and Maluri that form the 9.5km tunnel alignment are advancing swiftly with most works centering on the diaphragm wall and secant bored pile construction, excavation with multi-level strutting and station floor slab concreting works,” said MMC Gamuda KVMRT (T) Sdn Bhd general manager Ubull Din Om.
“Particularly, massive excavation is currently taking place at the Pasar Rakyat MRT station, which will be among the deepest of all underground MRT stations at 45m below ground level, while diaphragm wall works, king post installation and utilities relocation takes centre stage at the Bukit Bintang Central MRT station. At the Merdeka MRT station, we are securing the station box with multi-level strutting to ensure the stability of the station site,” Om said.
“As for the tunnelling work, from a total of 10 tunnel boring machines, two units of the Variable Density Tunnel Boring Machines (VD TBMs) are currently tunnelling karstic limestone at full speed from Cochrane MRT station towards the Pasar Rakyat MRT station, while another two units of Earth Pressure Balance Tunnel Boring Machines (EPB TBMs) are tunnelling the Kenny Hill formation from the Semantan North Portal towards the Pasar Seni MRT station.
“The rest of the six TBMs will be delivered to the launch sites for assembly in the coming months — another two VD TBMs will be sent to Cochrane and Pasar Rakyat respectively, and two EPB TBMs to the Pudu Launch Shaft. To-date, a total of seven TBMs have already been delivered to us by the supplier,” added Om.
With a mid-2017 completion date, the KVMRT Project Delivery Partner (PDP) and the underground contractor are working cohesively with all parties involved to ensure smooth implementation and delivery of the SBK Line.
The KVMRT SBK Line is expected to significantly improve public transport connectivity within the Klang Valley, through integration with existing rail networks such as the Light Rail Transit (LRT) lines, Monorail and KTM Komuter.
It will also serve to alleviate the crippling congestion in the Klang Valley, through increasing use of public transport, as Klang Valley’s population surges to an estimated 10 million by the year 2020.
“We are working round the clock with over 80 Works Package Contractors (WPC) to ensure the SBK Line is completed within time and cost.
“At the same time, we are also closely managing the entire construction process and delivery of each WPC. We must ensure a high quality of work and high standards of safety, health and environment are adhered to at all times,” said Adil.