SINGAPORE - Work to prepare the land at Changi East for the construction of the airport's Terminal 5 (T5) and other related facilities are progressing well, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) said on Wednesday.
Site surveys, soil investigations and clearance works have been done and the team is now focused on ground improvement works. This includes treating and strengthening the soil at the more than 1,000 ha site.
Engineers on the ground at Changi East, currently separated from the airport by Changi Coast Road, are dealing with reclaimed land consisting of thick layers of soft marine clay which cannot support airport infrastructure and aircraft load. This is why ground improvement works are necessary.
Once done, the soil then needs to settle before new airport facilities like the the development of Runway 3, taxiways and T5 can be constructed.
"Land preparation works have to be done with careful and stringent checks so that the new taxiways, runway and apron do not sink over time or crack," MOT said.
At some parts, the land needs to be raised to mitigate the impact of a projected rise in sea level due to climate change.
Related road works around the site, including the widening of Tanah Merah Coast Road and the construction of a new road between Tanah Merah Coast Road and Aviation Park, are ongoing. The new road will replace the existing Changi Coast Road.
Other major works such as canal diversion, and runway and taxiway pavement construction, will begin progressively from later this year.
The works will be carried out in more than 70 phases across the site over the next five to six years.
T5 is slated to open in the middle of the next decade with an initial capacity to handle up to 50 million passengers a year - more than T1 and T2 put together.
All three runways will be operational before that.
The ministry, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Changi Airport Group (CAG) are working closely with the contractors to ensure safety as ground improvement works take place, added MOT.