Korean firm bags first civil contract for new expressway

Korean construction firm Samsung C&T Corporation has landed the first civil contract for the North-South Corridor (NSC) for $809 million.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced yesterday that the contract involves designing and building a 1.25km stretch of tunnels between Novena Rise and Toa Payoh Rise on the NSC - a largely underground expressway with dedicated bus and cycling lanes.

The firm will also construct two entry ramp and two exit ramp tunnels, and facilities such as pedestrian overhead bridges, sheltered linkways, bus stops and cycle paths along this stretch.

Samsung C&T Corp has completed numerous road and railway infrastructure projects in South Korea and overseas. The LTA said: "Samsung C&T Corp has a good track record in Singapore as they have completed several major projects, including the construction of North-South Line's Marina South Pier station, a 1.75km stretch of the Marina Coastal Expressway as well as the Downtown Line 3's Expo and Upper Changi stations."

The builder is also involved in the construction of Xilin station and tunnels on the Downtown Line Extension, and the Caldecott and Marine Parade stations along the Thomson-East Coast Line.

Work for this first stretch of the NSC is expected to start next year. Civil contracts for the rest of the expressway are expected to be awarded from next year to 2019, the LTA added.

The 21.5km NSC will connect towns in the northern parts of Singapore to the city. When it was first announced as the North-South Expressway some five years ago, construction was to have started in 2015 and be done by around 2020.

The start date was then postponed to 2017, when the project went back to the drawing board to include bus and cycling lanes.

With another delay, work will start only next year, and is slated to be completed by 2026.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2017, with the headline 'Korean firm bags first civil contract for new expressway'. Print Edition | Subscribe