Malaysia's SMART tunnel
First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com
A series of stamps has been produced in Malaysia that focus on the innovative project to save capital Kuala Lumpur from both chronic traffic congestion and flooding during periods of high seasonal rainfall. Most of the time the Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel's (SMART) section operates as a dual deck road tunnel, providing an express route for traffic under the Malaysian capital. But during heavy rain the road decks are closed to cars and used to convey flood water instead.
Mott MacDonald designed the dual purpose section, and provided specialist consultancy for tunnelling overall. Mott MacDonald also acted as client's representative, helping the contractor resolve technical problems and assuring quality.
Chris Davis, Mott MacDonald's managing director of transportation said, "The commemorative stamps demonstrate how important the Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) is to the people of Kuala Lumpur. Since its opening in May 2007 SMART has been alleviating traffic congestion and has been used to protect Kuala Lumpur from flooding at least 50 times. We are very proud of this project and we're delighted for it to be recognised in this way."
This innovative, combined flood diversion and highway tunnel is able to relieve flooding and traffic congestion in Kuala Lumpur. Six of the SMART tunnel’s 9.8km are dedicated to flood relief, with the central 3km fulfilling a dual role. Traffic in this section is accommodated on two decks. Most floods are able to flow through the bottom of the tunnel, beneath the lower road deck. Decks are protected from inundation by guillotine style gates. Road decks are closed to traffic and opened to flood flows during extreme flood events.
The project was not without challenges. Tunnelling faced significant geological and technical risks. Intensive site investigation and ground improvement, attention to detail during specification of tunnel boring equipment, careful project management and close supervision ensured tunnelling occurred without major incident. However the tunnel was constructed in two years for a budget of some US$464 million.