Lum Chang goes solo for MRT job

CONSTRUCTION firm Lum Chang Building Contractors has emerged as the only local builder to clinch a Downtown Line project solo.

The 60-year-old home-grown firm is also believed to be the first Singapore firm to undertake an MRT project of such scale and complexity alone.

Its executive director Tan Wey Pin said: ‘We are the only local company to design and build an MRT project of this scale.’

Lum Chang had previously partnered Japan’s Nishimatsu for MRT works.

Its latest project, to build the Bukit Panjang station and tunnels, is among 10 civil contracts awarded for the Downtown Line in the past six months or so.

This is a minor milestone for the Land Transport Authority (LTA), now that all civil contracts for Stage 1 and 2 of the line – comprising 18 stations and 21km of tunnels – have been awarded.

Lum Chang’s Mr Tan said: ‘There are only a few local firms which are qualified to bid for such jobs.’

He noted that the Bukit Panjang job posed some challenges.

It entails blasting through rock and excavation involving the relocating of a support pillar of the Bukit Panjang LRT that is in the way.

The most complex Downtown Line job could well be the one South Korea’s Ssangyong Engineering landed – to build the Rochor and Little India stations.

At $803.3 million, this contract is worth more than twice the value of other Downtown Line projectsas the site is amid busy trunk roads and the Rochor Canal.

The job involves relocating the canal, excavating under the existing North-East Line and building a tunnel box for future underground infrastructure.

The LTA will award contracts for the third and final leg of the Downtown Line from next year.

This stage swings east, passing MacPherson, Bedok Reservoir and Tampines, and ending at the East-West Line’s Expo station.

It will be 19.1km long, with 15 stops.

The $12 billion Downtown Line will open in stages in 2013, 2015 and 2016.

Source : Straits Times – 3 Nov 2009

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