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Saigon Invites Independent Consultant to Inspect Defect on Metro Line

The saga of Saigon's first metro line continues.

VnExpress reports that the HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) has agreed to allow an independent consultant investigate the cause of a structural defect detected on the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro line last year.

In October 2020, workers on the project realized that an Elastomeric Laminated Bearing pad had fallen out of its position between two support beams on the elevated part of the line. Such pads are used in bridge construction to strengthen a structure. This followed the discovery of cracks on the line in Thu Duc City.

The news source adds that the main contractor, a consortium of the Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Number 6 and Japan's Sumitomo Corporation, quickly repaired the problem, but did not disclose why the pad had slipped or what this meant for the safety of the rest of the elevated line.

MAUR experts also inspected the whole line, and evidently did not find further faults, but an independent agency is being brought in to assess the situation nonetheless. While the consultant has not been named, the contractor has brought a Japanese and a South Korean expert into the city, and a French expert is on the way as well.

The pad in question was determined to be nine kilograms lighter than what had been specified in the design approved five years ago.

The lack of clarity over this situation is the latest in a long line of issues on the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien project, the completion date of which was recently delayed again, this time to an unspecified date in 2022.

[Photo via Vina Kyoei Steel]