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MENAFN - Arab Times - 11/09/2012

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media personnel tour at the Precast Yard.
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait's Ministry of Public Works revealed Sunday that the reinforced concrete slabs, beams and other items used in the building of Jahra highways are manufactured in a special yard with special technology employed for the first time in the Middle East region.

The precast facility, the first ever precast yard for producing segments in Kuwait is a fully computerized and automated facility that makes all the components according to the exact technical specifications required by the consultant, said Project Engineer of the Jahra Road Development Project Yasser Budastour as he spoke Wednesday to the press at a guided site tour for the media of the Precast Yard for the project located in the Doha area organized by the project administration.

The Precast Yard, a 150,000 m2 facility located away from the actual project site, is the location housing the advanced machinery and high-tech equipment used for the bridge segments production for the Jahra Road Development Project. The facility also houses the steel and segment mould factory.

Media personnel wearing safety vests and helmets were taken on a guided familiarization tour of the facility to learn about the current operations taking place and also observe the advanced machinery and hi-tech equipment used for the bridge segment production. The tour included visiting the steel and segment mould factory, in addition concrete labs as well as staff offices.

In his speech following the tour, the Project Engineer, Yasser Budastour stated that as Kuwait's leading infrastructural venture and one of the largest multileveled segmental road projects worldwide to date, the precast bridge segment fabrication facility for the project is also one of the biggest with highly innovative and pioneering machines and workshops.

As the team got to the steel fabricating plant, Budastour explained that the consultants adopted the precast segment methodology due to site constraints and therefore have managed to establish a fully utilized precast yard on a 150,000m2 remote area located in the Doha district from which they are able to fabricate, mould, reinforce, extract, stress and cure the concrete segments in a controlled environment that ensures the production of high quality segments. Until needed and transported on low bed trucks for usage on site, the segments are well lined up and stacked in the storage chambers of the yard, he added.

The Precast Yard comprises 5 major sectors including the concrete plant, steel factory, mould production lines, curing chambers in addition to staff offices with a total of 265 workers. The steel is brought in and fed into the plant to produce the various moulds required in the production of the segment and once all pieces are gathered they are bound together into the shape of the segment to be produced. A crane is then used to move the mould to another location for the concreting to be done.

Of the eight thousand five hundred (8,500) precast bridge segments are to be used in the project, just forty six (46) have been produced, representing about 0.0054%. Twenty six had actually been produced with twenty still under production at the time of the tour. Also, the segment framework for the mainline viaduct is being prepared and all the gantry cranes have been imported and are in place.

Commenting further on the advantages of employing the precast method, the project engineer reiterated that precast segmental construction provides solutions to road-rail bridge challenges that exceed project requirements as it provides both speed of production both in the casting of segments and erection along with the ability to construct in a congested environment. It is a fully computerized and automated facility that makes all the components according to the exact technical specifications required by the consultant on the project.

Moreover, he said that with production occurring off-site in a controlled environment, the quality of the precast bridge segments can be assured with regard to color consistency, meeting or exceeding strength requirements thus achieving a bridge that requires little maintenance. This construction method also is an advantage in protecting sensitive public environments from disruption during construction.
The Jahra Road Development Project is located in the western region of Kuwait, which extends from the Jahra Gate (Jahra Gate Roundabout - Sheraton) to the United Nations Roundabout. The project valued at KD 264.7 million (912. 6 million approx), was started in September 2010 and is projected to finish January 2016.

It is also one of the main projects in the Ministry of Public Works' strategic plan to develop roads and motorways in the State of Kuwait in order to address the future demand of traffic, minimize traffic congestions and improve road safety.

The MPW formulated agreements with Louis Berger in collaboration with the Pan Arab Consulting Engineers as project design & supervision consultants and the Arab Contractors Company (ACC) - Othman Ahmad Othman as the project contractor


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