Govt should rethink North-South Corridor

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) say its revised plan seeks to maximise the retention of the Ellison Building with the construction of the North-South Corridor (Bigger portion of conserved Ellison Building to be kept; Feb 14).

The idea for the North-South Expressway, now known as the North-South Corridor (NSC), came about in 2011 (North-South Expressway to ease CTE congestion; Jan 20, 2011). Covering a distance of 21.5km, it is due to be completed in 2026.

Many years after the expressway was conceptualised, we have to revisit and rethink.

Is the NSC viable and does it serve its purpose, especially after a decade of massive change in technology, climate change and socio-economic shifts in mindset?

My heart grieves whenever I think of the red-brick National Library building, which was demolished for the tunnel at Fort Canning Link.

Is history repeating itself?

Part of the Ellison Building will be demolished and reconstructed to facilitate the safe access of machinery.

Built in 1924 by a Romanian Jew, the Ellison Building is best left in the original condition.

The building will never be the same again if part of it is torn down and rebuilt.

Building the NSC also goes against the grain of the current push towards a car-lite Singapore, not to mention the impact more vehicles will have on the environment.

I strongly urge the authorities to go back to the drawing board and restrategise.

Without a doubt, there are better alternatives than the NSC.

Abandoning the NSC project will not result in a black mark for Singapore.

Rather, it will be seen as a meaningful and humanistic response to changing times.

Michael Lum Yan Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2018, with the headline 'Govt should rethink North-South Corridor'. Print Edition | Subscribe