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20 December 2004

Malaysia’s SMART sees first TBM breakthrough

The first breakthrough by one of two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) being used on SMART – Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel – in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia took place on 11 December 2004. The 13.2m diameter mixshield slurry TBM – one of the world’s largest – completed the 737m drive in 24 weeks. Mott MacDonald and SSP Consultants of Malaysia are jointly supervising construction of the tunnel by two TBMs working in opposite directions from the middle of the tunnel alignment.

SMART will divert floodwaters away from the confluence of two major rivers running through Kuala Lumpur while its central 3 km section will double up as a two-deck motorway to relieve traffic congestion in the city centre. The 9.7 km long 11.8m internal diameter tunnel will work on a three mode system. Mode one will operate under normal conditions or when rainfall is low such that no water needs to be diverted into the tunnel. Moderate storms will activate mode two. This will divert floodwater into a bypass tunnel in the lower section of the motorway tunnel which will remain open to traffic. During the once or twice yearly heavy storms, a switch will be made to mode three when the tunnel will be closed and the full tunnel section with a combined capacity of 3 million cubic metres will become available to divert the dramatically increased flows.

Mott MacDonald and SSP were appointed by the MMC-Gamuda JV, who are constructing the project, to provide detailed design services to take the project from concept through to construction. Mott MacDonald and SSP Consultants are now supervising construction on behalf of the MMC-Gamuda JV.

The highway section of the tunnel, which will operate under a 40 year concession between Government and MMC-Gamuda JV, is due for completion in 2005 and the bypass tunnel and associated works a year later.

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