A touch of history at new Kallang River promenade

Cyclists enjoy the scenery along a 320m stretch of the Kallang River that has been revitalised with rain gardens and viewing decks, in the latest ABC Waters project.
Cyclists enjoy the scenery along a 320m stretch of the Kallang River that has been revitalised with rain gardens and viewing decks, in the latest ABC Waters project.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Residents living along a 320m stretch of the Kallang River have a new and enhanced promenade where they can jog, cycle and hold gatherings.

The latest Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) project developed by PUB was launched yesterday by Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim.

Since the ABC Waters programme started in 2006, 34 projects have been completed.

In the $3.8 million Kallang River project, the area has been revitalised with viewing decks as well as "rain gardens", which not only add beauty and charm, but also serve to filter rainwater run-off.

A touch of history has been worked in as well. The roof of one of the viewing decks has been designed to look like the mast of sailing vessels that used to unload cargo along the river in the 19th century.

"Usually, when we design an ABC project, we try to retain some of the area's historical background. We thought it was a good idea and worked with consultants to come up with a design that suits the personality of the place," said Ms Cheng Geok Ling, the deputy director of PUB's sustainability office.

Nearby Kong Hwa School in Guillemard Road is planning to create a new ABC Waters learning trail to teach students about the environment, moving outside the traditional classroom setting. The Kolam Ayer Citizens' Consultative Committee has plans to use the area as a venue for grassroots events.

The next ABC Waters project to be launched will be at Sungei Whampoa. There, a 450m stretch between Kim Keat Road and the Central Expressway has been spruced up with a lookout deck, a boardwalk and rain gardens.

The project, costing $1.8 million, is set to be launched late next month.

Dr Yaacob, who is an MP for the area, said of the two projects: "With a compact space, our PUB has created two community nodes where residents can gather and connect with one another by the river."

As the authorities work to enhance the environment by beautifying waterways, Dr Yaacob called on residents to do their part as well, urging them to keep the waterways clean by not littering .

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2017, with the headline 'A touch of history at new Kallang River promenade'. Print Edition | Subscribe