Construction works for a 3.2km tunnel, which will hold two Cross Island Line MRT tracks, were awarded yesterday to Taisei Corporation of Japan and the Singapore branch of the China State Construction Engineering Corporation.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said this is the first time a large-diameter tunnel boring machine will be used to construct a single tunnel with the two tracks in it.
The project involves the design and construction of the underground tunnel between Aviation Park station and Loyang station in phase one of the MRT line, which is slated to begin operations in 2030.
Boring works will begin in the second quarter of this year by the joint venture, which secured the contract at $356 million.
LTA had previously already awarded contracts for the Cross Island Line. In 2019, works for Teck Ghee MRT station were awarded to Shanghai Tunnel Engineering as part of North-South Corridor tunnel works.
The North-South Corridor is an expressway with dedicated bus lanes and cycling paths. It is expected to be completed in 2026.
Taisei Corporation and China State Construction Engineering Corporation both have experience in rail stations and local tunnels, LTA said.
Taisei Corporation is currently involved in the construction of the Marina Bay station and tunnels for the Thomson-East Coast Line, while China State Construction Engineering Corporation is constructing the Keppel and Cantonment stations on the Circle Line, as well as tunnels for the North-East Line extension.
When completed, the 50km Cross Island Line will pass through Loyang, Tampines, Hougang, Serangoon North and Ang Mo Kio, among other areas, and link major hubs such as Jurong Lake District, Punggol Digital District and the Changi region.
Half of its stations will be interchanges with other train lines.
LTA has projected that daily ridership would be at least 600,000 in the initial years, growing to one million in the longer term.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent suspension of construction works caused delays to several MRT projects.
Completion of the Thomson-East Coast Line, Cross Island Line, Jurong Region Line and Circle Line extension are estimated to be delayed by up to a year, LTA has said.