Cracks on Jalan Besar shophouse pillars raise concern
Defects on two-storey shophouse in Jalan Besar do not affect overall structural integrity of the building, say engineer and BCA
Large cracks on the pillars of a two-storey shophouse in Jalan Besar have caused concern among tenants in the area.
Chinese-language newspaper Lianhe Wanbao reported yesterday that there were cracks on 10 of the pillars of the shophouse at 45 Syed Alwi Road, with some extending to the beams.
Some of the pillars were also showing signs of displacement, Wanbao said.
The building is home to a restaurant and a convenience store on the first floor, and a dormitory on the second floor.
A man who wanted to remain anonymous told Wanbao he had made two police reports over safety fears.
In response to queries from The New Paper, a spokesman for the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said it had directed the building owner to engage a professional engineer (PE) last month, who assessed that the cracks on the pillars did not affect the overall structural integrity of the building.
BCA's engineer also inspected the building and concurred with the PE's findings, she said.
She added: "The defects are likely to be caused by differential settlement between the building and the five-foot way which are supported on different foundation systems. The building owner will be carrying out rectification works as recommended by his PE."
Mr John Chong, whose family owns the building, confirmed that they are in touch with the authorities.
He is the owner of J Bistro @ 45 Syed Alwi, the restaurant on the first floor of the building.
He believes repeated roadworks in the area may have affected soil movement, leading to the cracks on the pillars.
An employee at the convenience store, who wanted to be known only as Mr Luo, said he discovered the cracks about two years ago.
The 60-year-old said: "A month ago, I found a small piece of cement I suspect to have fallen from the pillar. Fortunately, no one was hit."
A shopkeeper from a nearby shop said the cracks were spotted a few years ago and repair work was done, but they appeared again.
A foreign worker who lives in the dormitory on the second floor of the building told TNP he noticed the cracks when he moved in six months ago, but it did not bother him.
Cracks were also spotted in some shophouses in Jalan Besar and Maude Road more than two years ago, and the BCA said repair works were done in June last year.