Braddell flyover to open after long delay

From June 11, motorists headed to Bartley and Upper Serangoon can avoid CTE-bound traffic

After over four years and repeated delays, a new flyover connecting motorists from Lorong 6 Toa Payoh directly to the Braddell underpass will open on June 11 at 6am.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday that, as part of the project, a stretch of Braddell Road between Toa Payoh North flyover and the Central Expressway (CTE) has also been widened from dual three-lanes to dual five-lanes.

The new flyover will allow motorists travelling from Lorong 6 Toa Payoh to go straight towards Upper Serangoon Road and Bartley Road via the Braddell underpass, without having to join traffic bound for the CTE or Bishan Street 11.

Traffic is often said to slow down along Braddell Road, just before the underpass, as motorists switch lanes to go in either direction.

The LTA said motorists heading towards the CTE or Bishan Street 11 should continue using the old Toa Payoh North flyover.

"This segregation of traffic travelling towards different destinations will help smoothen traffic along Braddell Road," the LTA said in a press statement.

But a feature to physically segregate traffic heading for the two directions will be completed later.

LTA said centre dividers along stretches of Braddell Road will be erected to complete the traffic-improvement scheme. These reconfigurations can be done only after the new flyover opens, a spokesman said. The dividers will be up by the end of next month. Meanwhile, water barriers will be put in place.

Even so, motorists are relieved that the perennial crawl during the evening peak hours - made worse by road diversions and lane closures during the protracted construction period - will finally be over soon.

Motorist Jerry Yeo, 44, said: "That's very nice. It should clear up traffic jams near Bishan Street 11."

The project was initially undertaken by Hexagroup, which clinched the contract in late 2012 for $29 million. Work stalled two years later when the home-grown contractor faced financial difficulty.

The LTA then appointed Feng Ming Construction to complete the works for $29.9 million. The project, which was supposed to be completed by end-2015, was then pushed back to the end of last year.

But Feng Ming busted the second deadline, citing difficult conditions.

The third deadline was the first quarter of this year, but the Manpower Ministry issued a stop-work order after a random spot check on Feb 23. It found that shoring was not provided at excavated areas when required, and the excavation works were not carried out in accordance with the professional engineer's design. Work resumed in early March, and the LTA said then the project would be completed by June.

The 18-month delay, however, pales in comparison to one that hit the Bartley viaduct. That project was completed in 2010 after a five-year setback, also caused by a contractor that went into financial crisis.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2017, with the headline 'Braddell flyover to open after long delay'. Print Edition | Subscribe