THIS WEEK IN 1965:A LOOK BACK AT THE EVENTS THAT SHAPED SINGAPORE 50 YEARS AGO

S'pore's largest reclamation project begins

The Housing Board started preparatory work on Singapore's largest reclamation project.

The East Coast reclamation project aimed to reclaim land from Bedok to Tanjong Rhu in its first two phases.

The reclaimed land was to be used to build more houses, schools, parks and other community facilities for a growing population.

An estimated 200,000 people were expected to live in a new suburb sitting on the reclaimed land.

Then National Development Minister Lim Kim San said: "We have been changing Singapore's skyline. This project will change our shorelines and map."

ALTERING THE MAP

We have been changing Singapore's skyline. This project will change our shorelines and map.

MR LIM KIM SAN, Minister for National Development

The feasibility of reclaiming land from the sea by using the hilly land in Bedok had first been investigated in 1961.

A year later, a pilot project was started and 19ha of land was recovered from Bedok Point.

The pilot scheme's success allowed the Housing Board to go ahead with land reclamation on a large scale.

The East Coast reclamation project, carried out over seven phases, was eventually completed in 1985.

It added more than 1,500ha of land for housing, recreational and other uses and cost the Government over $600 million.

Today, East Coast Park, the Esplanade and the Marine Parade housing estate are some of the landmarks sitting on land reclaimed under this massive project.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 27, 2015, with the headline 'S'pore's largest reclamation project begins'. Print Edition | Subscribe