KPE, Nicoll Highway to get seamless link

Unlike most underpasses in Singapore which tend to be fairly straight and short, the new two-lane underpass will form a wide arc under the Mountbatten and Guillemard junction (left), allowing traffic from the KPE and Sims Way to get to Nicoll Highway
Unlike most underpasses in Singapore which tend to be fairly straight and short, the new two-lane underpass will form a wide arc under the Mountbatten and Guillemard junction (left), allowing traffic from the KPE and Sims Way to get to Nicoll Highway directly.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Underpass set to be completed by year end will allow motorists to bypass traffic junction

Motorists using the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) to get to Nicoll Highway often find themselves stuck at the lights almost immediately after exiting the underground road.

This will soon be a thing of the past. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is building an underpass that allows a seamless drive from the KPE to Nicoll Highway.

The underpass - a short underground road that bypasses a traffic junction - is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

It is expected to eradicate, or shorten considerably, the long tailback often witnessed on weekday mornings at the KPE's Nicoll exit. The jam has been a regular feature ever since the underground expressway opened in 2007.

The construction project, undertaken by Japan's Sato Kogyo for $45 million, started in 2012 and is slated to be completed by this year.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, an LTA spokesman said: "The two-lane underpass will allow traffic from the KPE and Sims Way to get to Nicoll Highway directly, allowing (motorists) to bypass the junction."

He said the underpass is part of road enhancement works that cater to the Singapore Sports Hub and other future developments in the area, adding: "Since 2014, we have already completed the widening of Kallang Road, Sims Avenue, Geylang Road, Sims Way, Mountbatten Road and Fort Road."

Unlike most underpasses in Singapore which tend to be fairly straight and short, the new one forms a wide arc under the Mountbatten and Guillemard junction. The entire facility measures 300m, but the tunnel section spans only 90m. A similar project is Woodsville Tunnel in Upper Serangoon, completed in 2012.

When the new underpass is completed, motorists from the KPE will surface at the Nicoll Highway exit before going underground again shortly afterwards.

National University of Singapore transport researcher Lee Der Horng said the underpass will allow Singapore's expressway network to be better connected.

"At the same time, there will be less interruptions for traffic on the surface," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2016, with the headline 'KPE, Nicoll Highway to get seamless link'. Print Edition | Subscribe