Wednesday, August 06, 2008

MRR2: Wrong Material used for repair

Halcrow senior consultant (bridge engineering) Roger Bucky said he had in 2005 advised PWD not to use carbon fibre straps because the plastic straps used to strengthen the pillars have limited ductility; but JKR proceeded with the use of the carbon fibre straps.

3 of the 18 carbon fibre straps on Pillar 18 had peeled off.

The primary cause of the peeling was due to delayed ettringite formation (DEF). DEF is believed to be a result of improper heat curing of the concrete to strengthen a structure.

Halcrow was engaged to conduct a study on cracks on MRR2 in 2004.


Anonymous said...

This stupid mat salleh, a crony of samy velu thought we are stupid. If the carbon fibre(CFRP) were only stressed to only half of the yield stress why the CFRP snapped? He also thought that we dont know about DEF and trying to bullsit us. How much forces generated due to DEF? What extenwsion of the CFRP required to generate that force?

NGVuser said...

There are number of possibilities of why JKR using the carbon fibre straps. It is either they don't have enough funds for purchasing better material during the construction, Other senior consultant of bridge engineering said okey to proceed with the usage of carbon fibre straps or they proceed using the materials for other purposes.

Wahid said...

I think the decision to use the carbon fibre because it was very light and few times stronger than steel, no additional load to the foundation. IF steel plates were used it will be very heavy, the foundation cant accomodate the extra loading.

Anonymous said...

Sami Velue?

Where is he to anwer?

suealeen said...

some suggest this and that. it's hard to make things right after it went wrong, not once but thrice!

that's why the prelimary stage is important in construction. the comparison study to any other similar product/infra works should be carried out earlier and choosing the right materials are necessary to avoid defection.

maybe we can look at the NPE which has been in operational since april 2004. the flyover is higher than MRR2 i guess.

hasilox said...

Already knew but still use? Sounds like flaws by design.

MRR2 = Mari rompak-rompak 2

Anonymous said...

Saw this article while surfing.

MRR2 Scam Exposed! Umno Corrupts and Destroys...

Way to go, Samy. Your revelation on MRR2 couldn't have come at a better time. If this was done due to your conscience finally getting the better part of you, how about spilling more? Tell us more about the 90M renovation job on the Parliament. I believe we have some interesting story behind this episode too. Here goes the story...
"When the beams of MRR2 started to crack two years ago, with the approval of the cabinet, Halcrow, a British firm of engineering consultants was appointed to investigate the cause of the cracks, recommend the remedies and implement them.
All looked well and good. For 12M, the much maligned MRR2 could be repaired and open to traffic with Halcrow's input. But there was a bitter battle within the Works Ministry, The PWD revolted. They did not want Halcrow as they have someone else in mind. Those in the know talked about a 'civil war' where the civil servants stood up to the political master and rightly so, spoke their mind.
Even a vociferous "it was decided by the cabinet" line was not acceptable to the 'experts'. The top guns from PWD went to Putrajaya and met the prime minister, requesting that the cabinet decision be reversed. The asking price by the new firm- Leonard Andre and Partners (LAP) was a mere 18M- just 6M more and they were providing space-age technology- carbor fibre to save the cracking pillars.
It did not matter that such technology had never been used in this part of the world but if 18M million was the final price tag, there would be little to complain. But the price escalated to 70M!!
- Extracted from The Sun
Fantastic, isn't it? These extras must be their commission. The people in PWD hijacked and presented it to the fourth floors boys and the fourth floor boys pushed for reversal of cabinet decision and hiked up the cost. Wonder how the 58M commission was shared between them? Surprising? Definitely so to those who are ignorant but this practices have been going on in our Economic Planning Unit (EPU) as far back as during Mahathir time. Remember those 10M cash brought up during Anwar's case?
Wait here's more... Halcrow's statement follows:
Government went against our advice, says Halcrow
The solution adopted by the Works Ministry to repair the original cracks that appeared on the Middle Ring Road II (MRR2) flyover in Kepong on Aug 9, 2004 were "not recommended" by Halcrow Consulting Ltd.
"I would like to emphasise that although Halcrow conducted detailed investigations into the original cause of the cracks, the government went against our advice not to use pre-stressed carbon fibre to strengthen the pillar heads because of its limited ductility (capacity to deform before fracture)," Halcrow engineer Roger Buckby said.
So People, ask ourselves whether this is the type governance we want for our country. How many more exposure is needed to open up our eyes and bring us together and push forward for a change to stop this rot once and for all? Their appetite has escalated beyond the inflation rate while our salaries growth lack behind. 58M!! Can we have some names here?
Thanks, Samy for answering my question on how the 70M was spent.

Posted by TheWhisperer

moo_t said...

The MRR2 pillar fix actually involve 31 out of 33 pillars, not just pillar 18.

I recall documentary about dam construction, that talk about massive concrete "cooling" issues. For massive concrete, if you don't care about the cooling process, the heat generated inside the pillar when it harden, together with the heat transfer from the sun, will dramatically weaken the concrete, and crack happens.

I suspect the people who carried out the work neglect the heat factor.

If anyone recalled that MRR2 are a "fast forward" construction.

In fact, the corruption issues are so bad, that they refuse to replace the column. MRR2 are now an thesis that show how bad a corruption can affect engineering.

For those want to see how the original crack looks like, check the wikipedia.

moo_t said...

Actually this is not the first time Malaysia see consultant company jump out to clarify their positions.

i. the RM4.6Billions PKFZ, when the port authority tell one story, while the Dubai consultant say another story. Real facts Never reach public.

ii. The leaking parliament. Again, "interesting idea" appear. But nobody can confirmed the facts. Real facts Never reach public.

If anyone go to PutraJaya, just go check the bottom of each decorative pillar of MoF building, you will find it "interesting".

GobloKing said...

Lives lost are cheaper than using the right material, right Samy? Right PM? Right UMNO?

No problem. So long as you & yr family avoids using the MRR2..but can anyone avoid the highway to Hell?

Maverick SM said...

Hi Anon 11:40am,

Halcrow wasn't the crony of Samy. Halcrow was brought into the study by the consultant's recommendation and promoted by someone within JKR.

I agree with you that if the CFPR was stressed to half it's yield it wouldn't have snapped.

The fact was it wasn't snapped; it was peeled - detached - from the structure laterally which means there are forces that causes the strap to detach. The possibility is that the workmanship was not done properly or there are other forms of forces acting on the crossbeam which must be studied and determined.

By my observation, only Pier 18 has this problem, which means the other 20 nos of pier was ok at this moment.

As such, simulations must be carried out to analyze the failure at pier 18.


There is only one reason why JKR used CFRP: it was recommended by the German specialist and it has worked in so many bridges in Europe for strengthening purpose.


CFRP was definitely a material which is appropriate for use in strengthening of RC structures as it is widely used for such purpose. Equally, it is also reminded of adding load forces onto the foundation which may break the chain of causation and relief the contractor of the negligent act in case the failures recurred later.


Samy's role is irrelevant now and he also doesn't know the structural design aspects.


This MRR2 problem is not so complicated. It was made complicated because no one wants to pay for the defects rectification and at such, they had to put up a complex theory on probabilities to make the issue cloudy. So Govt pays!


Maybe you didn't understand the engineering aspects.

Anon 1:23pm,

Thanks for the info and I will read that article.


Only Pier 18 is giving problem now. The other 30 nos had no problem.

Shah Alam mari said...

honestly,i dont know anything about engineering.but all that i can see is that only one of 30,deny all other speculations,i say it's human error or muchless like you said "The possibility is that the workmanship was not done properly or there are other forms of forces acting on the crossbeam which must be studied and determined.".

not everything gotta do with the road is Samy Vellu's fault.haha.

Anonymous said...



Kenny Ng said...

Additional steels are required instead of Carbon Fibre Straps. The flyover has the allowance for vibration and movement, Carbon Fibre Straps and more meant to static structural. However, I'm quite doubtful with the repairing workmanship than the materials has been used.

senyap said...

Why it was doesn't happen at any other bridge? Why MRR2 always have this problem?

Maverick SM said...

Shah Alam mari,

I agree! Not everything is Samy lah!


Ya, you've good prediction...hehehe

Kenny Ng,

I think you may have got it wrong; additional steel won't do that job; the failures of a completed structure needs strengthening and we have to seek a method that will strengthen the structure without imposing additional loadings. Of course the easiest thing in engineering is to demolish and rebuilt, but that is out of the question.


It didn't happen in other bridge because the design had catered for the structural loadings while this design was faulty.

Kenny Ng said...

For my opinion, additional steel still is more practical by hacking certain part of the structure. Anyway, the cold join between old concrete and new concrete/grout (repaired section) is no way to match the strength of design even using bonding agent.

Anyway, the cantilever section is too long, to strengthen it is near impossible after the failure.

The quality of concrete should take in place too, I'm not so confident with the concrete quality in term of quality/standard control measures in Malaysia.

Maverick SM said...

Kenny Ng,

This is an existing flyover and the problem is caused by insufficient anchorage into the crossbeam and lapping of the 40mm dia. rebars. There's also the issue of luffing-crane that was erected on top of the pier for launching the crossbeams which might have caused certain stress inducing failures.

We have to wait for more information and I am doing a research on this matter.

Maverick SM said...


No life would be lost; the problem has not reached a critical stage where collapse is imminent. The structure is still safe as long as it is closely monitored and actions taken to strengthened it.

Anonymous said...

Actuall not wrong material but wrong management!

Stupid a88hole!

Maverick SM said...


No lah! No wrong lah!