The image that accompanied the article 'Giant step for concrete' (NCE International, November 2000) conveys very well the distinct advantages of precast segmental construction in these circumstances.
Symonds Travers Morgan (Malaysia) is acting as independent consulting engineers for this project, engaged by SPRINT, the company awarded the concession to design, build and operate the scheme by the Malaysian Government. The concession period is for 33 years and includes provision to collect tolls at plazas also currently under construction.
It is worth mentioning that this project includes a doubledeck concrete viaduct, with staggered toll plazas, to minimise land take and a 700m long tunnel construction of which is to commence next year. This large scale project demonstrates the determination to meet the rapidly increasing demand for road space in Kuala Lumpur.
Without detracting from the essence of the article I would like to point out that the costs mentioned are nearer Ringgit 730M (US$192) for the Damansara and Kerinchi Links only. The Penchala Link, which includes the tunnel, has yet to commence. The U-beams mentioned and other precast beams were pretensioned and cast, in tandem, in a dedicated precasting facility where over 2000 beams were produced in 14 months. The number of segments produced for the ramps described in the article were 489, cast in 30 weeks.
Further information about this project may be obtained from www.sprint.com.my.
Roger Butler, technical director, Symonds Travers Morgan (Malaysia)