Johor Chief Minister makes stop at Woodlands North RTS worksite on official visit to Singapore

Johor Chief Minister Onn Hafiz Ghazi and Transport Minister S. Iswaran at the RTS Link viaduct on April 18, 2022. PHOTO: MOT

SINGAPORE - Johor Chief Minister Onn Hafiz Ghazi, on his first official visit to Singapore, was hosted by Minister for Transport S. Iswaran on a visit to the Woodlands North terminus site of the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link on Monday (April 18).

Datuk Onn Hafiz is on a three-day visit that started on Sunday.

Mr Iswaran and Mr Hafiz toured the work area where the RTS Link viaduct is being constructed and were updated on the progress, the Ministry of Transport and Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a joint statement.

The RTS Link will connect passengers from the underground Woodlands North station in Singapore to the above-ground Bukit Chagar station in Johor Baru - a 4km journey that will take about five minutes.

The Woodlands North station, which will link passengers on the RTS to the existing station on the Thomson-East Coast MRT line, will be built at a maximum depth of 28m.

The station and the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) building will span six storeys comprising two basement levels and an underground linkway on basement three.

The total area of the station and CIQ building is estimated to be 10 times that of a typical MRT station.

Work on the station started in January last year and is slated for completion by the end of 2026.

In 2018, Singapore and Malaysia signed a bilateral agreement on the project, with work scheduled to begin in 2019.

The project was suspended in May 2019 for six months with then Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan citing Malaysia's failure to meet pre-agreed deadlines. Work halted again one year later in May 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In July 2020, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and then Malaysia Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin met at the midpoint of the Causeway to mark the resumption of the RTS project.

On April 1, a consortium comprising Systra, Minconsult and Bureau Veritas Singapore was appointed by LTA and Malaysia's Ministry of Transport to be the independent verification and validation (IV&V) agent for RTS Link.

The IV&V agent will ensure that the work on the project complies with the stipulated safety requirements and regulations. This includes assessing and certifying that the rail shuttle service is safe to commence passenger operations.

A contract for the construction of the station, tunnels and the CIQ building in Singapore was awarded to Penta-Ocean Construction in 2020.

A second contract, covering the construction of the RTS Link viaduct, was awarded to China Communications Construction Company (Singapore branch) in 2021. The viaduct will be constructed at a height of 25m.

The RTS Link will carry up to 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction across the Strait of Johor.

The CIQ facilities of both Singapore and Malaysia will be located at the Woodlands North and Bukit Chagar stations, so passengers will need to clear immigration only at their point of departure.

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