Saturday, July 26, 2008

New Tunnel From Sentosa Gateway To Ease Traffic

Source : The Straits Times, July 26, 2008

THE Government unveiled plans yesterday for a new tunnel that will link the entrance to Sentosa Island with Kampong Bahru and Keppel roads.

The 1.3km span is designed to relieve congestion around the Sentosa Gateway, which is expected to see a huge jump in traffic after the island's integrated resort opens in 2010.

'The area will require additional transport infrastructure to support the growth and maintain a positive travel experience for visitors,' said Land Transport Authority (LTA) chief executive Yam Ah Mee.


The mostly two-lane tunnel, scheduled for completion in 2015, will only be open to traffic leaving the resort island, the LTA said. That is because it will pass near the North East and Circle lines, making for a tight fit.

The tunnel will start along the stretch between VivoCity and St James Power Station and end along Kampong Bahru Road and east-bound Keppel Road.

Drivers will be able to bypass the busy junction between the Gateway and Telok Blangah. About 6,000 cars now pass through the intersection during evening peak periods. That number is poised to rise to over 10,000 between 2010 and 2015 with the opening of the integrated resort, commercial buildings and condominiums.

The LTA said motorists who use the tunnel will see their travel time drop by 50 per cent to 10 minutes. Those travelling on surface streets will see their travel time drop by 25 per cent.

Officials opted for the outbound route because most of the evening traffic through the area are cars leaving Sentosa.

The tunnel announcement comes on top of other road works being done in the area that began in June. Crews are adding lanes to Telok Blangah Road and widening Kampong Bahru Road, among other things. These works are expected to be completed in time for the opening of the integrated resort on Sentosa.

The LTA will start preliminary work on the new tunnel, which includes laying cables, by the end of the year.

Tunnel works proper will begin only by 2011.

The LTA said there will be minimal disruptions for motorists.

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