1st phase of Lornie Highway opens on Oct 28

Some motorists interviewed are looking forward to the opening of the first phase of Lornie Highway.
Some motorists interviewed are looking forward to the opening of the first phase of Lornie Highway.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Southbound section, which runs parallel to Lornie Road, to open after repeated delays

After repeated delays, the first phase of the Lornie Highway - previously known as the Bukit Brown road - will open on Oct 28.

The southbound section of the road, which runs parallel to Lornie Road, will facilitate traffic flow from Thomson towards the Pan-Island Expressway as well as Adam and Farrer roads.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday that an underpass near the entrance of the highway will allow motorists to access the residential area in Lornie Road, while a temporary road connection near Sime Road has been built to connect traffic from the existing southbound Lornie Road to southbound Lornie Highway.

"With the opening of southbound Lornie Highway, motorists heading towards the PIE, Adam Road and Farrer Road are advised to use the new Lornie Highway to reach their destinations," the LTA said. "The existing southbound four-lane Lornie Road will progressively be downgraded to two lanes from Oct 28."

Traffic on the MacRitchie Viaduct will flow directly onto the new road. Southbound motorists using the current Lornie Road will have to access it via surface roads.

The northbound Lornie Highway will be completed in phases. When the stretch fully opens by the first quarter of next year, a new underpass at the Sime Road junction will remove the need for a signalised junction there today.

USE NEW HIGHWAY

With the opening of southbound Lornie Highway, motorists heading towards the PIE, Adam Road and Farrer Road are advised to use the new Lornie Highway to reach their destinations. The existing southbound four-lane Lornie Road will progressively be downgraded to two lanes from Oct 28.

 LAND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY

EASING CONGESTION

I have no doubt it will relieve congestion.

MEDICAL DOCTOR KONG YONGYAO, on the new road.

Motorist Aaron Hia, 33, said that he is "really looking forward" to the new road.

The product trainer at a motor firm said he uses Lornie Road to get to work, and sees bottlenecks on the MacRitchie Viaduct (southbound) and Sime Road junction regularly. "In the morning, it is actually faster to avoid the viaduct, and use the surface road to get onto Lornie," he said.

Medical doctor Kong Yongyao, 30, said: "I have no doubt it will relieve congestion."

Meanwhile, the LTA said bus services 52, 74, 93, 852 and 855, which currently ply Lornie Road towards Adam Road, will be adjusted to ply the new southbound Lornie Highway. Bus services 157 and 165 will continue to ply Lornie Road.

Existing bus stops along southbound Lornie Road opposite the Singapore Island Country Club will also be relocated to the southbound Lornie Highway before Kheam Hock Road.

Lornie Highway is meant to cater to growth in future traffic demand arising from redevelopment of the Bukit Brown area.

The road project had been delayed repeatedly. It was announced in 2011, and at first slated to be completed by mid-2016, and then by the end of last year, then in two phases from the third quarter of this year.

When the project was announced, it stirred up strong protests from nature and heritage groups because it cut across a vast forested area and the Bukit Brown cemetery, where many of Singapore's pioneers were buried. More than 3,000 graves were exhumed in the area.

Freelance writer Lynn Tan, 41, said that the exhumation did not affect her great-grandfather's grave. "We were happy... but I would say it's not really a big deal. We would have moved the grave if it was necessary."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 12, 2018, with the headline '1st phase of Lornie Highway opens on Oct 28'. Print Edition | Subscribe