Supreme Court reverses B6.2 bln expressway compensation

The Supreme Court Thursday morning reversed an earlier verdict by the Civil Court which demanded the Expressway and Rapid Transit Authority (ETA) to pay BBCD Joint Venture 6.2 billion baht in compensation.

The verdict said the former ETA governor had incorrectly favoured the contractor.

BBCD Joint Venture which comprises Ch Karnchang and Bilfinger Berger of Germany which was contracted by the ETA to build the 55-km long elevated expressway from Bangkok's Bang Na to Bang Pakong (near Chon Buri province) first took the case to the arbitration committee accusing ETA of delay in handing over land earmarked for construction of the expressway and demanded 6.2 billion baht in compensation.

The arbitration committee faulted the ETA and ordered it to pay the compensation to BBCD Joint Venture. The Civil Court later confirmed the arbitration committee's ruling, but the ETA eventually appealed the verdict to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court reversed the verdict on the ground that the former governor of ETA had intentionally acted in favour of the constructor.

The verdict this morning represents a great relief for the ETA which is a state enterprise.

Meanwhile, ETA said cracks have appeared on almost half the pillars of this elevated Bang Na-Bang Pakong expressway but experts still insist the structure is safe and can be repaired.

Pachearn Pirotesak, governor of the ETA, said cracks have appeared on 584 of a total of 1,278 pillars along the 55km expressway and experts confirmed the structure was still safe.

He said the ETA started to find cracks soon after the expressway opened in February 2000. It told the contractor, BBCD Joint Venture, to repair them.

In 2004, the ETA found more cracks and in the following year it hired a team from Kasetsart University's civil engineering department to examine the cracks and test the pillars' strength.

The team said the cracks did not affect the structure of the pillars and repairs could be made. It will tell the ETA today how the repairs should be made.

Pillars with many cracks had been found between the 29th and the 30th kilometre markers (the Bang Bo-Bang Bua section) of the expressway. Sixty-five pillars, or 5% of the total, need urgent repairs as the cracks are longer than 50cm, and more than 25cm deep.

The cause of the cracks remains unknown. However, Mr Pachearn ruled out subsidence.

He said a lack of strict temperature controls during concrete moulding could be the cause, adding the contractor would have to pay compensation if the cracks were proven to be its fault.

All the cracks found so far are above ground. Engineers have yet to look for cracks underground.

From : Bangkok Post
By : PLA
Date : Feb 16, 2007

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