SINGAPORE - To reduce congestion in certain areas, East Coast Park will soon be upgraded with more open spaces and amenities when improvement works at three sites are completed by end-2019, the National Parks Board (NParks) announced today (July 29).
The former sites of Goldkist Chalets, Big Splash and Raintree Cove will be turned into nodes that will help spread out human traffic to the other parts of the park.
The former Goldkist Chalets will become a new bicycle park with "cycle-through" food and beverage offerings, workshop spaces and cycling circuits.
It will serve as a pitstop for cyclists using the 150km Round Island Route, said the statement. Personal mobility device users are also welcome to use this cyclist park.
At Raintree Cove, where the iconic Long Beach Main Seafood Restaurant used to be, the site will feature open lawns for sporting or leisure activities, providing respite from the crowded Marine Cove nearby.
The revamped Big Splash site will feature a water play area that the former theme park was once known for, along with a vertical playground that comes equipped with regular slides. This playground will be converted from the existing Big Splash building.
In all, around eight hectares of land will be redeveloped and progressively completed by 2019.
The leases of the previous tenants, including F&B outlets and the Goldkist Chalets operator, had run down by last year. The sites are now hoarded up and demolition works have been ongoing since the start of the year.
The move to redevelop sections of the park is part of the NParks' City in a Garden vision in 2012, which identified East Coast Park as one of the key parks to be redeveloped into a leisure destination.
The park - Singapore's largest and most frequented - is visited an average of 7.5 million times each year. Currently, the most popular area for park visitors is at Marine Cove, which was redeveloped and opened to the public last June.
Said NPark's group director of parks development Kartini Omar: "Our focus right now is on this area because it is currently heavily used, very well utilised and very crowded. A lot of Singaporeans can testify that this area can become very congested, especially during weekends and public holidays.
"Therefore, we see this need to redistribute and spread out the crowds and reduce congestion in this high activity zones so everyone can have a better experience at the park."
Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong launched the exhibition showcasing the improvement works at the park's Parkland Green, also another recent redevelopment, today(July 29).
Said ESM Goh: "NParks has done well to transform our recreational landscape and parklands, to enhance Singaporeans' mental and physical well-being. My challenge to NParks is to make East Coast Park a beloved national icon and transcendent experience."