SINGAPORE - A new U-turn designed to reduce traffic going into Newton Circus will open on Sunday (July 28).
The U-turn is for traffic on Bukit Timah Road heading towards Woodlands to change direction and go towards the city.
The U-turn was mentioned in February in Parliament by Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.
Answering questions from MP Melvin Yong about accidents at Newton Circus, Mr Khaw said improvement works were planned, one of which was for "U-turn facilities at approaching roads to reduce the number of vehicles using the roundabout".
In the past, the Land Transport Authority had also considered building an underpass and flyover to improve flow at Newton Circus, which is often a bottleneck between major roads.
Mr Yong shared the news of the U-turn on Facebook on Saturday.
"A new vehicular U-turn, located underneath the existing Newton Flyover, has been completed and it will be opened to the public with effect from 6am on 28 July 2019 (Sunday)," he wrote.
"For motorists travelling along Bukit Timah Road (towards Woodlands) to Bukit Timah Road (towards City), you can expect to shave precious time off your travel journey and avoid driving into Newton Circus."
Observers said the new U-turn could itself cause congestion, as vehicles turning back will form a tailback on one lane, impeding access to the roundabout.
And as the U-turn is sited close to the circus, motorists may still choose to use the roundabout as a way of turning back.
In this particular case, it may not be feasible to build the U-turn farther away from the circus as a ramp for a viaduct (towards Woodlands) is in the way.
In response to queries, the Land Transport Authority said the U-turn was part of a road improvement contract awarded to Megastone Holdings last year.
The works include expanding the junctions at Balmoral Road/Bukit Timah Road and Newton Circus and add four U-turn facilities along the junctions.