20 years after Nicolle Highway collapse, construction industry stresses regular updates on safety protocols

“I see a lot of improvement over the 20 years as a result of the incident,” said Mr Ng.

“Safety standards have increased and the level of design check has also increased significantly, pushing Singapore’s design standards to a higher level.”

Still, there’s no room for complacency.

The future holds new challenges for construction in Singapore, with underground areas getting increasingly crowded and climate change leading to rising sea levels.

Mr Ng said more precautions need to be put in place, and those in the construction sector need to be more vigilant than ever.

“As the sea level rises, deep excavation projects will face higher water pressure that will exert more force on walls. There will also be risks of leakage, which could cause floods and put workers’ lives in danger,” he said.

Increases in temperature changes will also cause more expansion and contraction of building material, risking structural integrity, he said.

Following the tragedy, he worked as a project manager at the site until the completion of the Nicoll Highway MRT station along the Circle Line, which opened in 2010.

“I was there during the construction. We were so pressured to ensure that the station is being constructed safely and completed (on time),” said Mr Ng. 

“Looking back, there were so many flaws in our construction industry. But we pulled ourselves together and changed things for the better,” he added.

“Today, we take the incident as a reminder. We have to be very careful in every step we take as an engineer because our designs dictate what happens on site.”

SOURCE: CNA (Channelnewsasia.com) RSS Latest News   (go to source)
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