The replacement tender of the Tampines Expressway (TPE)-Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) Changi Viaduct has been awarded to Hwa Seng Builder Pte Ltd at a contract sum of $95.6 million.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) stated in a press release on Monday (10 December) that works are expected to commence in first quarter of 2019 and the indicative completion date for this project is the first half of 2022.
LTA said that Hwa Seng Builder Pte Ltd will be responsible for completing the construction of the viaduct, including the demolition of any structures deemed unsafe.
According to LTA, Hwa Seng Builder Pte Ltd is an established contractor who has completed various road construction projects. They recently completed the new road link connecting Punggol Central to Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) and TPE(PIE) which was opened to traffic on 25 Nov 2018 as part of the first phase of the expansion of the KPE/TPE Interchange.
When completed, the TPE-PIE Changi Viaduct will provide a direct connection for motorists travelling from TPE(Changi) to PIE(Westbound) and Upper Changi Road East by bypassing the stretch of TPE(Changi) between Loyang Flyover and Upper Changi Flyover and the existing signalised junctions with Loyang Ave and Upper Changi Road North, the authority said.
During the fatal incident last year, the former contractor for the project, Or Kim Peow (OKP) Contractors was carrying out works to cast the decking for the viaduct when a section of the structure collapsed. By that time, eleven workers from China, India and Bangladesh were working on top of the structure. Chinese National Chen Yichuan was killed, while the others were taken to Changi General Hospital with injuries.
According to the authority, a multi-agency probe into the collapse found that corbels – brackets that help support beams – had given way. They also found cracks in the areas supporting 11 other parts of the viaduct. As a result of the findings, LTA decided to demolish all the crossheads on the uncompleted sections of the TPE-PIE viaduct, as a safety precaution.
In July this year, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced that LTA had reached an agreement to terminate its contract with OKP Contractors and will also recover appropriate costs.
Earlier in May, OKP Contractors and five individuals, who are OKP’s group managing director Or Toh Wat, project director Yee Chee Keong, project engineer Wong Kiew Hai, CPG Consultants’ professional engineer Robert Arianto Tjandra and Leong Sow Hon, an executive with Calibre Consulting Singapore, were charged under the Building Control and the Workplace, Safety and Health Acts for their roles in the incident.
The incident was not the first one for OKP. The company was convicted and fined only days before the tragic incident for separate workplace safety lapses and the death of a worker in 2015.