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New Batang Tatau Bridge “stitched”

Thursday, May 30, 2019, Tatau: The closing segment or “stitching process” of the middle portion of the balanced cantilever sections of new Batang Tatau Bridge was successfully completed on Tuesday this week. It took the construction team approximately four hours to complete the “stitching process” which involves the pouring of some 40 m3 of concrete for this middle portion or Segment S14 with a length of 4.1m, 7.5m width and 3.15m depth.

With the completion of this process, it means the construction team has readied the main structure of the balanced cantilever.

The process literally is a designated construction sequence to close the last segment, or gap, between the edges of two opposite cantilever segments to form a complete continuous span.

Four stages are involved in this process of completing the casting of the closing segment. First, the horizontal cross bracings have to be installed before the vertical alignment is being adjusted between the ends of the two opposing cantilever segments, by using clamping trusses and carefully pulling them to match the level at the top.

Once this is done, the closing segment formwork will be installed to fix the closing segment in its rightful place, along with other necessary reinforcement etc. before it goes to the last stage of casting using high strength concrete. This will be followed by stressing the bottom tendons of this closing segment upon the concrete achieving 70% of its strength.

Batang Tatau Bridge is a 486.35m long bridge, stretching over eight spans and comprises of 57 cantilevered segments and 35 post tensioned girder beams. The balanced cantilever segments are cast in-situ with each segment taking an average cycle time of 12 to 14 days to complete starting from dismantling and moving the ‘form traveler’ into position, fixing it, rebar and concreting inclusive of stressing.

The overall progress of the bridge which includes the embankment approach is about 70% completed and is scheduled for full completion by the end of October this year. Since the work started in June 2017, it has clocked in a total of 330,000 safe man hours.

To recap, the original Batang Tatau Bridge, built under the Fourth Malaysia Plan in 1979 was maintained after it passed the proof load test at the end of June last year. Proof load test is a process carried out to ascertain the load bearing capacity of a bridge under increased loading capacity in the future.

The original Batang Tatau Bridge catered to both Bintulu bound and Sibu bound traffic. With the new Batang Tatau Bridge built parallel next to it, the two separate bridges will be made available with two lanes in each direction where the original bridge will serve the Sibu bound traffic while the new bridge will serve the Bintulu bound traffic.

Batang Tatau Bridge is in WPC 09 Sg. Arip to Bintulu Junction (ABJ). KKB WCT Joint Venture is the main contractor for this works package over a length of 64.531km.