Avenues bridge collapse exposes dark secrets of neglect and corruption

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KUWAIT CITY, Oct 1: The recent incident related to the fall of one of the pillars of the Avenues Bridge on the Fifth Ring Road at the intersection of Ghazali Road and Mohammed bin Al-Qasim Road Streets after a truck collided with it constituted a new blow for the Ministry of Public Works in terms of its failure and exposure of what was hidden.

In this context, informed sources explained that the collapse revealed the abuse of power by some of the senior employees of the ministry and their negligence, in addition to collusion with the contractor in order not to implement the terms of the contract. The incident almost claimed the lives of many of the road users.

The sources went to explain that some documents confirm the ministry’s negligence and laxity in implementing the contract, especially with regard to the contractor’s submission of a plan to remove the defective works implemented in contract No. dmsec/pm/ra-266/1561, and recommending to completely expedite the submission and removal plan, which was scheduled for September 17, 2023, and within a maximum of three days. However, the contractor procrastinated and wasted time, and instead blamed the senior leadership in the ministry for this delay that resulted in the incident.

They said, “The consulting engineer sent several letters to remove all the structures from August 8.

The contractor, the ministry, and the Director General of the Public Authority for Road and Transportation (PART) were notified of the request to remove the bridge and the defective slab. A report was also submitted from Kuwait University in which the technical opinion concluded with the request to remove the slab, defective parts, and the protrusions, and to withdraw the work from the contractor.”

The letter No. 16/4-5844 from PART dated 8/8/2023 stated the need for the contract contractor to submit a well thought-out plan to remove what was implemented from the bridge.

In addition, a letter was sent to the contractor of contract No. 1522/266 – DMSEC/PM/RA on 17/8/2023 with a recommendation to “remove the defective precast slab and the side protrusions due to the inaccuracy of the submitted report.”

Also, a letter No. 007/280-APR 2023/DMSEC was sent to PART on 24/8/2023 with the technical opinion of the consultant as a result of reviewing what was stated in the Kuwait University report to evaluate the structural condition of the bridge, which concluded that it was necessary to remove what had been done in its implementation of the bridge work.”

The sources referred to the letter No. 16/4-6396 of PART sent on September 3, 2023 with its request that the contractor remove the defective works from “U TURN RD10” through a well-thought-out work plan to be completed, which was approved by the contract consultant, provided that the removal plan is submitted within a week from its date.

In light of the above, and after the grace period of seven days passed, in accordance with the repeated recommendations of PART, the most recent of which is its letter dated 9/3/2023, and the letter No. 1561/266 – DMSEC/PM/RA dated 17/9/2023, the contractor to date has not submitted the required work plan to the consultant for study, despite all previous recommendations in this regard, and has displayed deliberate procrastination, non-response, and disruption of the work.

By Saud Al-Farhan
Al-Seyassah/Arab Times Staff

This news has been read 18983 times!

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