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Three people and a main contractor will be charged in court next week over the collapse of an incomplete viaduct on Upper Changi Road East earlier this year.

21 May 2018 | Local News : Singapore


At least three people and a main contractor will be charged in court on 30th May over the fatal collapse of an incomplete viaduct in Changi, indicating that investigations into the 14th July tragedy have concluded.

The fate of the viaduct, which would offer motorists a more direct connection to the westbound PIE and Upper Changi Road East by 2020, is now uncertain
In a statement to the stock exchange last week, homegrown construction group OKP Holdings said its wholly-owned unit Or Kim Peow Contractors, Group Managing Director Or Toh Wat, and employees Allen Yee and Wong Kiew Hai - who are respectively the Project Director and Project Engineer for the ill-fated project - will appear in Court 26 on 30th May.

Asked who else have been summoned to court over the incident, which killed one worker and injured 10 others, the Building & Construction Authority and Ministry of Manpower would not comment.

According to OKP's statement to the SGX, its subsidiary and the three executives face charges under the Building Control Act - which is under the purview of the Building and Construction Authority- and/or the Workplace Safety and Health Act, under the Ministry of Manpower).

A BCA spokesman said, "Prosecution action is being taken under the Building Control Act, following investigations into the viaduct structure under construction at the Pan-Island Expressway." The authority did not comment on the findings of the investigations, which have taken nearly a year.

The MOM said a Stop Work Order on the site - issued immediately after the incident - is still in force. The fate of the viaduct, which would offer motorists a more direct connection to the westbound PIE and Upper Changi Road East by 2020, is now uncertain.

Workers at areas near the Upper Changi Road East viaduct, which collapsed in July last year
The Straits Times understands the Land Transport Authority, which awarded the project to Or Kim Peow Contractors for $94.6 million in 2015, has three options - namely, to appoint another contractor to finish the job; re-design the structure with reinforcement before continuing the works; or tear down what has been built and redo the whole project.

A senior engineer said the course of action will depend on what the investigations have unearthed. "If it is a technical fault for one particular location, you may be able to continue by say, replacing a beam or column. But if there's an underlying problem that extends to all structures, then you may have to redo the whole thing."

He added that the fact that the investigations have taken so long - and the fact that charges are filed before findings are made known - indicate a likelihood of the latter. If so, the project will not see light of day till much later than 2020.

On the morning of 14th July, a 40m section of the viaduct collapsed, with preliminary findings pointing to corbels - support structures - giving way. Experts had pointed to a design flaw as one possible cause for the corbel failure.

Post-incident checks also revealed cracks at 11 other locations along the viaduct - an indication of a problem that is not isolated. It also emerged that a consultant from CPG - OKP's sub-contractor - who designed the viaduct was also the supervisor who checked the construction works.
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