New riverfronts unveiled in Pasir Ris and Tampines

Makeovers offer great views, lookout decks and rain gardens

Singaporeans can now take in gorgeous views of foliage and clear flowing waters along two rivers in Pasir Ris and Tampines.

A 900m stretch of Sungei Api Api between the Tampines Expressway and Pasir Ris Drive 3 has been turned into a vibrant green corridor - with more plants along the water edge and canal walls, wider footpaths, shelters, lookout decks and seats.

At a 1.1km stretch along Sungei Tampines, also between the expressway and Pasir Ris Drive 3, new decks and a community plaza will bring people closer to the river.

National water agency PUB yesterday opened its two latest Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) projects. Since 2006, the rejuvenation scheme has helped turn Singapore's drains, canals and reservoirs into beautiful areas that are well integrated with their surrounding parks and spaces.

As of last month, 27 projects had been completed under the programme.

Six more are slated to start this year, including one at Bukit Batok Canal, which began in January.

In the projects that were opened yesterday, rain gardens and a cleansing biotope - a collection of plants and materials such as soil and rocks - were created along the waterways to show how plants and soil can be used to treat rainwater.

The rain gardens feature plants such as Leucophyllum Frutescens (Texas ranger) and Loropetalum Chinense Var Rubrum (Chinese fringe-flower), three layers of soil and a pipe system to filter rainwater and channel it into the river.

The cleansing biotope uses highly porous materials such as lava stone and hardy plants to remove sediment and some nutrients naturally from the rainwater.

Two mangrove sculptures were erected at the entrance to Pasir Ris Drive 1 to represent the mangrove trees along Sungei Api Api.

In constructing the lookout decks, PUB minimised the impact on mangroves by confining the works to the canal's embankment.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who was guest of honour at the opening, said he hoped residents will enjoy the transformation of the two waterways and the improved facilities. "Let us all also play our part to keep the environment and waterways clean by not littering," he said.

Pasir Ris resident Chiang Lan Eng said Sungei Tampines was pleasant before, but the makeover makes it even better. The 73-year-old retiree said: "While doing my daily exercise, I can relax by the river and take in the clean and beautiful view."

zengkun@sph.com.sg