Underground MRT in Kuala Lumpur – The Inevitable Urban Transit Solution


  • Dato’ Ir. Paul Ha Tiing Tai Gamuda Berhad




Deep Excavation, Karsts, Kenny Hill Formation, Kuala Lumpur Limestone, Risk Management, TBM, Tunnelling, Tunnel Boring Machine.


The traffic congestion in Kuala Lumpur and the high demand for urban space would inevitably lead to an underground transit system. The underground works will be posed with all the constraints and challenges in both design and construction that is unique to Kuala Lumpur’s geology, land use and social-economic structure. The successfully completed underground section of the Sg. Buloh to Kajang (SBK), Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) Project between Semantan and Maluri was based on a design and build contract by MMC Gamuda Joint Venture. This paper presents the engineering challenges related to deep excavation and tunnelling in the different geology encountered along the SBK line which include but not limited to the topics highlighted hereafter. The design of deep excavation, temporary retaining systems and other associated works for stations and its performance in Kenny Hill and Kuala Lumpur Limestone. The tunnelling works connecting all the underground stations including the innovative variable density tunnel boring machine, the risk management process, building damage assessment/protection and monitoring particularly to verify the performance of unconventional construction sequence. This paper also make reference to the efforts made to develop the human resource in order to meet the tight construction program. The successful completion of the project is only possible with the dedication and commitment of the client, the management and the support of the many dedicated staff who had laboured tirelessly to complete the project on time and in a safe manner. The valiant effort and cooperation of various parties are gratefully acknowledged without which the subject matter of this lecture would not have been possible.

Author Biography

Dato’ Ir. Paul Ha Tiing Tai , Gamuda Berhad

Deputy Group Managing Director
Gamuda Berhad




How to Cite

Dato’ Ir. Paul Ha Tiing Tai. (2018). Underground MRT in Kuala Lumpur – The Inevitable Urban Transit Solution. The Journal of The Institution of Engineers Malaysia, 79(1). https://doi.org/10.54552/v79i1.4