New link bridges at two MRT stations

The new link bridges at Commonwealth station (above) and Queenstown station give commuters more access points and come with covered walkways to nearby housing estates.
The new link bridges at Commonwealth station (above) and Queenstown station give commuters more access points and come with covered walkways to nearby housing estates.ST PHOTO: YEO KAI WEN

It used to be hard getting in and out of Commonwealth and Queenstown MRT stations during peak hours.

Each of the two overhead stations had just two entrances leading to the ticket gantries at one end.

But yesterday, new link bridges to new entrances at the other end of each station were officially opened, giving commuters more access points and easing the peak- hour human traffic.

The link bridges also come with covered walkways to nearby housing estates.

Madam Chiew Soon Yong, 78, a resident in Block 89, Tanglin Halt Road, who often travels to Hougang to visit her daughter, can now get to the Commonwealth station from her block via a covered walkway that leads to a lift that takes her onto the new bridge. This cuts her journey by a few hundred metres.

"I don't need to walk so far any more and it doesn't matter if it rains. Also, the (older) bridge only has the escalator going up," she said.

Dr Chia Shi-Lu, an MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, said he had approached the Land Transport Authority and transport operator SMRT three to four years back to see how they could improve the stations' accessibility.

"The population here has been growing. Also, there are many elderly people here, so we wanted to improve the accessibility," he said.

"We felt that the easiest way was to have more entrances and exits, and, if possible, we get these entrances and exits to connect directly to some of the Housing Board structures, whether it's the shops or the actual blocks."

Meanwhile, Queenstown Community Centre celebrated its 55th anniversary yesterday with a carnival on its premises.

About 3,000 residents were treated to an exhibition on the centre's history, snacks such as popcorn and candy floss, and dance and music performances.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2015, with the headline 'New link bridges at two MRT stations'. Print Edition | Subscribe