MRT SSP Line work on track

PETALING JAYA: The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) Line is on track to be completed within the stipulated time frame, with its progress at 21%.

Its project director, Datuk Amiruddin Ma'aris, said the company is expected to achieve yet another milestone in the development of the line when it puts to work the first of its 12 Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) by next month.

He expressed confidence the line would be opened to the public by July 2022, achieving a similar feat when MRT launched its first line – the Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line – in July last year without delays.

This is despite the company facing several difficulties that were not present during the construction of the first line, including a more complex underground geological formation and much deeper underground stations.

"Going by the current rate, we are quite confident we can achieve (completion of the SSP Line) similar to what we did with the SBK Line," he told theSun recently.

Amiruddin said the first TBM for the SSP Line underground works will begin boring by the first quarter of the year, with the first machine being assembled at the Bandar Malaysia North station in Kuala Lumpur.

"Once assembled, we will do some testing before finally starting our boring. We expect Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak to launch the TBMs some time in March," he said.

Amiruddin said the SSP Line required 12 TBMs, compared with eight for the SBK Line, as it has more underground stations (11 compared with seven) and a longer underground alignment (13.5km to 9.5km).

The final TBM for the SSP Line is expected to be launched by mid-2019.

On the dangers that the underground works might pose to the public and its surroundings, Amiruddin said MRT Corp has taken everything into consideration before commencing the work.

He added one of the most common concerns among the public regarding underground works were traffic diversions that cause congestion as well as noise complaints.

The ground breaking ceremony of the RM32 billion SSP Line was officiated by Najib on Sept 15, 2016.

When completed, SSP will have a total of 36 stations spanning 52.2km, with an estimated daily ridership of 529,000 when it reaches maturity.