New MRT station for North-South Line: Canberra

HDB blocks in Yishun near Yishun MRT station. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
HDB blocks in Yishun near Yishun MRT station. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A new MRT station - to be called Canberra - will be built along the North-South Line between Yishun and Sembawang station, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew announced on Friday.

Speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony for the upcoming Thomson Line, Mr Lui said a feasibility study for the station has been completed and that the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will provide more details later. These include its exact location and when it will be ready.

Friday's groundbreaking ceremony marks the start of construction for the 22-station, 30km Thomson Line which will be completed in three phases from 2019 to 2021.

To date, 22 of 25 major civil contracts for the line have been awarded to a tune of $6.5 billion.

The line will run from Woodlands in the north to Gardens by the Bay, where it will connect to the future Eastern Region Line.

In a first here, the Land Transport Authority will use a new method known as "ground freezing" when building the Thomson Line Marina Bay station. It will insert pipes into the ground and inject brine to freeze the groundwater and create ice walls. This is to prevent water from seeping in and affecting tunnelling works.

Building Marina Bay station is complex, as the part of the new line will intersect below existing tunnels from the Circle and North-South lines. It will also be challenging building beneath several existing MRT stations.

When completed, the Thomson Line will have six interchange stations, and cut down travelling time for some commuters.

Mr Lui said a resident at Springleaf estate in Sembawang will only need 35 minutes to travel to Great World City mall, compared to 60 minutes today.

The line will provide an additional capacity of 60 per cent along the North-South corridor, and relieve crowding along the North-South Line, he said.

The new line will also strengthen the overall resilience of the rail network, by giving commuters more alternative routes and this will minimise inconvenience during service disruptions, he said.