Tuesday 25 March 2008


Smart Tunnel closed indefinitely

KUALA LUMPUR: "The Smart Tunnel will be closed for flood mitigation operations until further notice.

Syarikat Mengurus Air Banjir dan Terowong, the company managing the tunnel, called on motorists to be patient and extend their cooperation as well as pay attention to information put out via the Variable Message Sign and various media.

A spokesman said the tunnel, closed from 6pm on Saturday, would be used to divert floodwaters to prevent flooding in the city centre.

“The water level has risen and if diversion was not conducted, Dataran Merdeka could have been submerged in water,” he said.

The public can call 1-300-88-7188 for more information."

How the SMART Tunnel was designed to work

First mode (Normal conditions)

Under normal conditions, where there is no storm, no flood water will be diverted into the system.

Second mode (Most storm condition)

When second mode is activated, flood water is diverted into the bypass tunnel in the lower channel of the motorway tunnel.

The motorway section is still open to traffic during this stage.

Third mode (Major storm conditions)

When this mode is in operation, the motorway will be closed to all traffic.

After making sure all vehicles have exited the motorway, automated water-tight gates will be opened to allow flood waters to pass through.

The motorway will be reopened to traffic within 48 hours of closure.

So what is going on? The tunnel was not designed in such a way, that it has to be closed for undetermined periods of time after being used to divert flood waters.

At this time it has already been closed since 6 pm last Saturday, more than 54 hours already.

After the car tunnel is used to carry flood waters, of course it would need to be cleaned up, but why is the tunnel now closed for an indefinite period "until further notice"?

There is likely to be more to this than meets the eye.

Is any of the tunnel machinery, such as water gates, pumps, waterways, or other devices damaged, clogged, unserviceable, or otherwise out of order?

Was there a malfunction, or a serious incident caused by human error?

Perhaps so?

When I drove through the 4 kilometre long SMART tunnel on Thursday 20 March 2008, I saw numerous large orange plastic traffic barriers standing in various parts of the tunnel leading toward the city, surely these loose barriers should not have been there, as they would float away if the tunnel was flooded.

Could it be these large loose traffic barriers are the root causes of the problems which have resulted in the SMART Tunnel closure?

The mechanism of the SMART Tunnel has been touted as being 'fail safe' but it may not have been designed to be 'idiot proof'!

Meanwhile Kuala Lumpur is even more gridlocked than usual.

Tarditas et procrastinatio odiosa est - Delay and procrastination is hateful.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonder why the name Smart Tunnel comes about. That it can outsmart the public with its limited functions and less reliable features?