Drainage improvement work on the Bukit Timah First Diversion Canal to help keep floods at bay is almost 90 per cent complete.
The project is due to be finished by the year end, providing protection for the upper Bukit Timah Catchment, which includes areas such as Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Beauty World Plaza and Bukit Timah Shopping Centre.
Yesterday, national water agency PUB officially unveiled enhancement works along an 800m stretch of the canal located between Holland Green and Holland Plain.
It has features such as three rain gardens, designed to cleanse rainwater run-off and improve the quality of water flowing into the canal.
There are also new shelters, benches, fitness equipment, a wetland, and paths for jogging and cycling. Rock walls and creeper plants now line the canal banks.
The two-year, $3.9 million project comes under PUB's Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) programme.
It is the 37th such project in Singapore and the first for Bukit Timah.
It was carried out in conjunction with PUB's drainage upgrading works for the 3.2km Bukit Timah First Diversion Canal that started in 2013. Improvement work on the canal, which flows into Pandan Reservoir, is being carried out in three phases.
In November 2009, a heavy downpour caused a diversion canal from the main Bukit Timah canal to burst its banks, with flood water partially submerging the ground floor of buildings and cars.
Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP Christopher de Souza said at yesterday's ceremony: "The upgrading of the canal between Bukit Timah Road and Clementi Road enhances flood protection, and that is needed to protect residents.
"The project also serves to create vibrant community spaces for the community to bond near the water. This is in line with the vision of a green Holland-Bukit Timah GRC.
"Today's opening... reflects our collective vision to overcome water scarcity, to turn adversity into strength, to reimagine green community spaces and, with teamwork, to turn that into reality now."
Housewife Eunice Ng, 49, is glad about the better drainage after her condominium carpark flooded in July 2010, damaging her car. She also welcomed the ABC Waters project. "Now you can walk through and enjoy the scenic view," she said. It's more inviting and suitable for morning and evening walks."