SINGAPORE - The first civil contract for the construction of the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link, a rail shuttle service between the two countries, was awarded on Thursday (Nov 26).
Under the $932.8 million contract, Penta-Ocean Construction, a company currently working on the Bright Hill and Orchard stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line, will begin work on parts of the connection in the first quarter of next year, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said.
The contract covers the construction of the RTS Link Woodlands North station - the Singapore terminus - tunnels and the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) building co-located in Woodlands North.
The Woodlands North MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast line, on which passengers alighting from the RTS in Singapore can continue their journey, is also Penta-Ocean Construction's project.
The LTA said the second contract for the RTS Link, which will include the viaduct, will be awarded in the first quarter of 2021.
The RTS Link should be operational by end-2026, carrying up to 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction.
The Malaysia terminus is at Bukit Chagar station in Johor Baru, and the trip between both stations should take only five minutes.
Both governments have agreed on terms stipulating that Malaysia pays about 39 per cent of the total cost of the 4km link and Singapore the rest.
The link should ease congestion on the Causeway and make the Singapore-Malaysia border more easily accessible, both countries have said.
The RTS Link was first announced in 2010 and targeted for completion by 2018, but delays and cost concerns set back progress.
Last year, it was suspended at Malaysia's request for a review of its scope, structure and costs. It was officially resumed in July this year.