Opening of new road on hold for now

The two-lane underpass being built in 2016. It will allow traffic from the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) and Sims Way to get to Nicoll Highway directly.
The two-lane underpass being built in 2016. It will allow traffic from the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) and Sims Way to get to Nicoll Highway directly. PHOTO: ST FILE

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is holding off on the opening of a new road until it can determine a window of time that would cause the least confusion.

The $45 million, 300m underpass that links the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) to Nicoll Highway was completed last December. It was built so that motorists using the KPE do not get stuck at the lights after taking the Nicoll Highway exit.

But an LTA spokesman told The Straits Times that the opening of the underpass has not been determined.

"LTA is working closely with major stakeholders in the vicinity, such as the Singapore Sports Hub, which will host several major events in the coming months," he said, adding that the aim is to ensure minimal disruption.

When contacted, the Sports Hub said: "Sports Hub works closely with LTA and relevant authorities to provide notice to road users and for all patrons of our facilities."

Another long-delayed project to ease congestion along Braddell Road seems to have hit another bump. Originally slated for completion by 2015, the Braddell Flyover was derailed when Hexagroup, the previous contractor, went into financial difficulty. It was ceded to another contractor Feng Ming Construction in 2015, and the deadline was pushed to the end of last year.

In December, the LTA said the project - ongoing for more than five years - will be completed only in the first quarter of this year. Asked for an update, the LTA insisted the project was on track for completion by this quarter. But it would not say when it will open to traffic.

SIM University economist Walter Theseira said: "There are some marginal costs to having a road in service instead of closed. But generally, the LTA has been quite good about opening roads for service once they are completed."

Meanwhile, the widening of Pasir Panjang Road and West Coast Road between West Coast Link and Science Park Road has completed.

"The widened lanes have been opened progressively to traffic since June 2016," the LTA spokesman said. "The new dual two-lane extension from Science Park Road to West Coast Highway will be opened to traffic by the end of this month."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2017, with the headline 'Opening of new road on hold for now'. Print Edition | Subscribe