PIE viaduct collapse: Uncompleted sections of viaduct to be demolished as safety precaution

A section of the viaduct adjacent to a slip road from Upper Changi Road East to the Pan-Island Expressway that collapsed on July 14, 2017. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Nearly a year after a construction failure which killed one worker and injured 10 others, the Land Transport Authority has decided to demolish all crossheads on the uncompleted sections of the Upper Changi Pan Island Expressway viaduct.

More of the structure may be pulled down later if they are deemed unsafe.

In a statement two hours after the main contractor - Or Kim Peow Contractors (OKP) - and five people were charged in court on Wednesday (May 30) for their role in the fatal collapse last July, the regulator said the decision to demolish the crossheads was "a safety precaution following the discovery of cracks on corbels at the incident site earlier".

A crosshead is the horizontal beam on top of a pillar which supports the viaduct.

It has since emerged that cracks on several parts of the viaduct were discovered well before the collapse on the early hours of July 14, 2017.

In its statement, the LTA said: "An independent professional engineer has also been appointed by LTA to assess the structural integrity of the viaduct under construction.

"Any other sections, which are assessed to be unsafe... will be demolished."

With the ongoing court case, and the prospect of the viaduct construction being delayed for another year at least, observers said a decision may be taken to redo the entire project.

The LTA said it is "studying its options carefully and reviewing the viaduct project with OKP".

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.