Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has issued a stop-work order (SWO) against Singapore firm Feng Ming Construction (FMC), the main contractor of the Braddell Road flyover project, after a random spot check on 23 February.
The flyover project includes the construction of a single-lane flyover to directly connect vehicles turning right from Lorong 6 Toa Payoh with the Braddell underpass towards Paya Lebar. Therefore, drivers will not have to join traffic heading towards the Central Expressway.
The Braddell Road will also be expanded from its dual three lanes to a dual five-lane carriageway and two new pedestrian bridges will connect Bishan and Braddell.
The work was slated to be finished by the end of March, more than a year delayed than initially planned in end-2015. The completion date was then pushed to end of last year. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) then promised to open the lane by the end of this month.
Unfortunately, due to the order, the completion date will see another delay and the LTA will announce the revised opening date for the flyover after further assessment.
A MOM spokesman told The Straits Times that it discovered that shoring was not provided at excavated areas when required and the excavation works were not constructed in accordance with the professional engineer’s design.
He said, “Materials were placed on excavation struts, which exposed persons working below to the risk of being hit by falling objects.”
He also stressed that the duration of the SWO depends on how long it takes for the company to rectify the safety breaches, adding that once MOM is satisfied that all the issues have been resolved, then the SWO would be lifted.
LTA had previously insisted when asked that the project will be done by the end of this month. However, due to this incident, it finally admits that the project will be delayed.
The Authority also noted that it is working with FMC to fix the safety lapses so then the work can be resumed as soon as possible.
“Construction of the flyover has been challenging as works are being done during limited hours to minimise traffic disruption to commuters, as well as noise and dust disamenities to nearby residents,” it said.
The public works began in 2012, where the first contractor, Hexagroup, won a $29 million tender. However, it ran into financial difficulties which were then led to a temporary stoppage of the project, ending hopes of meeting the initial completion target. Hexagroup is now in the process of winding up.
In 2015, FMC was awarded the second tender, worth $29.9 million.
According to The Straits Times, the delayed completion date was also due with problems associated with the handover from Hexagroup.