SINGAPORE - The Thomson-East Coast MRT line (TEL) will have an additional stop between Tanjong Rhu and Gardens by the Bay stations, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has announced.
The Founders' Memorial station will be named after and situated next to a 5ha memorial being built to showcase the contributions of modern Singapore's founders. Both are scheduled to open in 2025.
Engineering provisions for an MRT station had already been put in place - in anticipation of future developments in the area - but the station was not announced earlier because plans for the memorial were confirmed only in 2017.
The LTA said on Monday (Jan 7) that China Railway First Group has been awarded a $242.4 million contract to build the station, and construction work will start later this year.
While the Marina stretch of Thomson-East Coast Line will open in 2021, the Founders' Memorial station will open four years later, "in tandem with the opening of Founders' Memorial", the LTA said.
It was reported last year that the memorial site will be housed in a garden, within which an indoor gallery will be built. There will likely be permanent and temporary galleries, as well as a visitor centre and multi-purpose rooms which could host school excursions and citizenship ceremonies.
The memorial will cover the period in Singapore after World War II to its first few decades of independence, focusing on stories about and key milestones in the country's growth.
Separately, the LTA announced a breakthrough with the Katong Park station along the TEL, which brings the final stage of the TEL to around 40 per cent completion.
Because of the narrow site constraints - a two-lane road measuring 6m wide flanked by high-rises and at least one pre-war house - the LTA said Katong Park will have a stacked station platform configuration. That is, it will have one station platform built on top of another, as opposed to being parallel to each other.
While stacked station platforms and tunnels are uncommon, though not unique to Katong Park, the LTA said it was the first time that tunnel-boring machines were used to construct them through a station.
The method required the lower station platform (and tunnels) to be built first, before the one above can be built. This requires additional time.
After tunnelling is done, the sites are then excavated. On Monday, Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary took the wheel of an excavator equipped with a jackhammer to break through a tunnel segment where the upper station platform will be built.
Mr Puthucheary later said in a Facebook post that “the new station offers another travel option for visitors to this landmark that honours Singapore’s founding generation of leaders”.
The first stage of the TEL – a three-station stretch from Woodlands South to Woodlands North – will open later this year.
The LTA said the second stage – from Caldecott to Springleaf – is 80 per cent complete and will open in 2020.
By 2021, the third stage from Gardens by the Bay to Mount Pleasant will open.
Then in 2023, the eastern stretch from Tanjong Rhu to Bayshore will follow.
The last stage, which goes from Bedok South to Sungei Bedok, will be ready in 2024, along with the East Coast Integrated Depot, which incorporates three MRT depots and one bus depot.
And when Changi Airport Terminal 5 is up by around 2030, the line is likely to be extended farther to serve it.