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JKR S’wak: Satok suspension bridge’s anchor block tilting due to static load tests
Posted on : 03 Sep 2019  Source of News: The Borneo Post Online

JKR S’wak: Satok suspension bridge’s anchor block tilting due to static load tests

By Sam Chua on September 3, 2019, Tuesday at 8:01 AM News, Sarawak

Repair works are being conducted at the Satok suspension bridge’s anchor block that is tilting to one side. – Photo courtesy of JKR Sarawak

KUCHING: The worrying sight of the RM8-million Satok suspension bridge’s anchor block tilting to one side was due to a series of static load tests conducted on the bridge on Aug 29.

According to Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak, static load tests were conducted on the bridge with the aim to check overall deflection of the bridge under different loading conditions.

The static load test commenced by loading the bridge to simulate 800 people on the bridge and survey readings were taken.

“It was found that the anchor block at the Kubah Ria side was slightly tilted. As for anchor block on the Satok side, there was no movement recorded,” it said in a press statement last night.

After monitoring for further two hours with reading taken every 15 minutes, JKR Sarawak said no further movements of both anchor blocks were recorded.

“The loading was reduced by half to simulate 400 people on one half of the bridge and readings were taken again for the next 12 hours. It was recorded that there was no further movement of both anchor blocks.”

Subsequently, JKR Sarawak said all the loads were removed and the monitoring of the anchor block is currently still ongoing.

“Currently, there is no further sign of movement of the anchor block is observed.”

However, JKR Sarawak said instructions had been given to close the area surrounding the tilted anchor block to prevent public to go near the structure.

In the meantime, JKR Sarawak said it is carrying out a more detailed investigation to determine the exact cause of the tilting and any actions to rectify the issue will be made immediately once the study has been concluded.

“Findings and any remedial actions will be announced one the detailed study concluded soonest.”

At present, it pointed out that the physical progress of construction works has reach 94.52 per cent, which is ahead of schedule by 7.68 per cent.

Meanwhile, Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing had rushed to the scene upon being notified of the latest development of the bridge.

“I was there with JKR engineers to check it out. JKR engineers will give it a thorough study to find out what went wrong and give me their findings,” he said when contacted on Monday.

Earlier, sandbags could be seen piling at the base of the suspension bridge’s anchor block to stabilise the bridge.

Works on the suspension bridge commenced on Sept 19, 2017 and it was expected to complete on December 20 this year.

However, there is doubt whether the suspension bridge will be completed as scheduled with this latest development.

The scheduled completion date was updated from the initial target date of completion of Sept 18 since beginning of the year.

During the earth-breaking ceremony of the bridge in 2017, Chief Minister Abang Johari Tun Openg said the bridge would be the next tourist spot in Sarawak due to its historical value.

The reconstruction of the suspension bridge would connect pedestrians to the cross the river to a new market at Medan Niaga Satok, Kubah Ria here.

As the next tourist attraction, the suspension bridge will be lighted with LED bulbs, similar to the so-called ‘S’ bridge linking city central and the iconic State Legislative Assembly complex area. Once completed, the suspension bridge will also have a 3-metre walkway.

The suspension bridge was initially opened in the late 1926 before it was forced to close in 1992 due to safety reasons. On Oct 7, 2004, the bridge collapsed into the river.

Nicknamed ‘San Francisco Bridge’, the bridge once served pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists to and from Kampung Kudei in Kuching City to Kubah Ria in Petra Jaya.

The 213-metre long and 3-metre wide suspension bridge is also being built based on a stainless steel structure design in accordance to the British Standard.

It will include towers and key blocks to hold suspension cables and a six-metre tall bridge deck with stairs and ramps at both ends.