Bigger test this week for traffic on new expressway

Traffic was smooth on Singapore's costliest expressway's tunnel when it was opened to the public yesterday from 9am.

However, there were slowdowns along the Central Boulevard and Marina Boulevard as some drivers may not be familiar with how to enter the $4.3 billion Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE), according to the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

The 10-lane MCE, which took almost five years to build, connects the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) and East Coast Parkway (ECP) in the east to the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) in the west.

Motorists told The Straits Times that they expect the new expressway, which has a speed limit of 80kmh, to make it more convenient to travel to the Shenton Way, Marina South and Maxwell Road areas.

"But we'll have to see what happens during this coming week when more people use the expressway to get to work in the Central Business District (CBD). Sunday's traffic is not reflective of the actual road use," said taxi driver Mohd Sidek, 48.

Civil servant Jonathan Lin, 29, was among the drivers still figuring out the new routes.

"I was expecting to get out at Rochor on the ECP, but that was the part that was closed because of the MCE, so I had to make a big detour," he said.

The LTA said it has put up temporary signs at key approaches to remind motorists of the key road changes.

"Traffic wardens have also been deployed to help direct motorists," said a spokesman. "As with all changes to the road network, motorists may take some time to be familiar with the changes."

The LTA said motorists should note the following:

  • Those travelling between the KPE or ECP and the AYE should use the MCE, as it will serve as the main expressway connecting traffic travelling between the east and the west.
  • Those travelling between AYE, ECP or KPE and the CBD can use the MCE to connect directly via Marina Boulevard and Central Boulevard.

Depending on their destinations, motorists can also use other arterial roads.

  • With the ECP ending west of Benjamin Sheares Bridge, motorist can continue to use the new arterial road, Sheares Avenue, to enter the CBD from ECP.

More information on the road network changes can also be found on the LTA's website.

zengkun@sph.com.sg