Environmental impact study of new cross island MRT line starts

SINGAPORE - The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has appointed Environmental Resources Management to assess the environmental impact that the proposed Cross Island Line might have on Singapore's central catchment nature reserve.

ERM, a global provider of environmental, health, safety, risk and social consulting services, has put together a team of specialists to carry out the assessment. The team has conducted similar studies for transport projects in Britain and includes a biodiversity arm. The assessment of the line's effects on the nature reserve and its surrounding areas will start immediately.

Announced in 2013, the 50km Cross Island Line will span Changi to Jurong Industrial Estate and is targeted for completion in 2030.

LTA chief executive Chew Hock Yong said: "Stakeholders and interested parties such as the nature and residents groups have provided us with valuable inputs.

"We will continue to engage them as the project progresses," he said. The Government will consider these views, the findings from the assessment, as well as factors such as connectivity, travel times, costs and land-use compatibility in deciding the line alignment that "will best serve the community", he added.

In the first part of the assessment, ERM will conduct a baseline study of the existing ecosystem and the physical conditions along the various alignment options.

It will also provide a mapping of habitats, assess the impact of proposed soil investigation works and recommend mitigation measures.

In the second part, the cosultant will focus on assessing the potential impact to the nature reserve during the construction of the line as well as when trains start to run.

It will also propose mitigation measures during these stages. The assessment report is targeted for completion in 2016 and will help the Government make a considered decision on the eventual alignment of the line.