Phase 1 of 150km green trail will start at year end

PM Lee Hsien Loong watering the Lowland Fox-Glove tree he planted at the tree planting event at Sengkang Riverside Park on July 9.
PM Lee Hsien Loong watering the Lowland Fox-Glove tree he planted at the tree planting event at Sengkang Riverside Park on July 9. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

NParks will be calling for tender to build the first 60km of the route

Construction work on the first 60km of a continuous 150km green trail that will go around Singapore will start at the end of the year.

The project aims to enhance connectivity and create new recreational spaces for cyclists and park goers.

In a ceremony held yesterday morning, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong planted a tree at the Sengkang Riverside Park, marking the start of phase one of the Round Island Route, an idea first conceptualised in 2011.

The 150km corridor, which is more than three times the length of Singapore, will be built in three stages.

While a completion date has yet to be announced, the route will link existing natural, cultural, historical and recreational sites.

The development is part of the larger Park Connector Network (PCN), which is now over 300km in length, and the new corridor is expected to benefit about 3.5 million residents along the route.

The National Parks Board (NParks) will be calling for a tender soon for the first phase of the route.

The 60km stretch, named the Coastal Adventure Corridor, will start at Rower's Bay at the Lower Seletar Reservoir Park and pass along the coasts of Punggol, Pasir Ris, Changi and East Coast Park, before reaching Gardens by the Bay East.

Ms Kartini Omar, group director of parks development at NParks, said efforts have been made so the Round Island Route has "seamless connectivity".

"For the Coastal Adventure Corridor... we will have a bridge across Sungei Punggol, which will link the two parcels of Sengkang Riverside Park, so park users (cyclists) don't actually have to dismount and (can) have a more seamless ride," she said, citing an example.

The Round Island Route's tracks will be mostly 6m wide - wider than the 4m paths of the park connectors.

It will also have shelters, toilets, lookout points, information kiosks, bicycle parking lots and self-help bike repair facilities.

Mr Han Jok Kwang, a cycling enthusiast and chairman of the Friends of PCN Community group, said the Round Island Route is about "connecting the dots forward", as it will link to other PCN loops at strategic locations, feeding its users into various residential towns.

"With the route, you can also go around the whole island safely, minimising interaction with vehicular traffic," he added.

As a 150km-long corridor, it also offers the potential for eco-tourism, giving visitors to Singapore a chance to explore the scenic coastline and other attractions along the way, he said.

Sengkang resident Eric Phua, 37, said the upcoming Coastal Adventure Corridor will give him an incentive to pick up cycling.

"I'll consider cycling to enjoy this new facility and it can also be another form of exercise for me," said the stock dealer.

The 150km corridor, which is more than three times the length of Singapore, will be built in three stages. While a completion date has yet to be announced, the route will link existing natural, cultural, historical and recreational sites.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 10, 2016, with the headline 'Phase 1 of 150km green trail will start at year end'. Print Edition | Subscribe