A smoother drive along MCE-linked roads

A sign in the Marina South area informing road users of the coming change in the road network. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
A sign in the Marina South area informing road users of the coming change in the road network. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

More direct routes for motorists as realignment works are completed

FOODIES will have swifter access to Maxwell Road Food Centre from Sept 28, when realignment works associated with the Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE) are completed.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced yesterday that the MCE - an undersea road linking the East Coast Parkway (ECP) and Ayer Rajah Expressway that opened last December - will have direct connections to and from Maxwell Road.

This should be a boon to people working in Tanjong Pagar, too.

Punggol resident Ben Ong, 30, who works as a project manager at events company Lumina in Maxwell Road, said: "Definitely it'd be a much more hassle-free route that will benefit all motorists in the area. I don't see any downside."

Those working, living or heading to attractions in the Marina South and the Marina Bay Financial Centre area will also benefit, as the current maze-like network is untangled.

Central Boulevard - the main five-lane road there - will be straightened to run parallel to Marina Boulevard.

Central Boulevard will be one-way northbound, while Marina Boulevard will be one-way southbound.

Bayfront Avenue will be extended past Marina Boulevard to run a loop near the Marina Bay MRT station.

Outlining the changes, the LTA also noted that east-west traffic flow has improved since the MCE opened nine months ago - despite an increase in volume during peak periods.

LTA deputy chief executive Chua Chong Kheng said this has resulted in smoother journeys for motorists in the city centre as well.

This means "we have also been able to reduce the ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) rates on both the MCE and the ECP during certain time slots", he said.

For instance, two new gantries along the MCE started with a $6 charge for the 8.30pm to 9pm slot, but it is now $2.

During this same period, there was a $6 charge at the gantries on the ECP near Fort Road, during the fourth quarter last year. Today, the rate is $3.

This was despite traffic volume flowing from the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway and ECP having risen 26 per cent to 10,490 vehicles per hour during the morning peak.

Flow in the opposite direction in the evening peak rose by 14 per cent to 9,970 vehicles per hour.

Mr Chua said this was "a clear sign that motorists are enjoying smoother traffic during the peak hours".

Along with motorists, public transport commuters will also see changes when heading to the Marina South and Bay area from Sept 28.

The LTA said bus services 106, 133, 400 and 402 will be rerouted.

An existing bus stop along Central Boulevard in front of Marina Bay Financial Centre will be removed. The four affected services calling at that bus stop will be rerouted to a bus stop along Marina Boulevard.

In the opposite direction, two bus stops located along Central Boulevard (towards Shenton Way) and Marina Station Road will be removed.

Bus service numbers 97, 106, 133, 400, 402, 502 and 513, which currently call at these bus stops, will now go to a new bus stop located after the junction of Central Boulevard and Bayfront Avenue.

christan@sph.com.sg

More information on the road network changes is available on the LTA home page (http://www.lta.gov.sg) and on the LTA's YouTube channel (@LTASingapore).