The Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will be housed under one roof in a new integrated complex at the Jurong East MRT station.
In the first project of its kind, the two organisations will consolidate their presence in one location. The project, however, will be completed only after 2020. The Straits Times understands that the multi-storey building will partly straddle the Jurong East MRT station itself.
Although an engineering challenge because it will involve heavy construction above a "live" interchange, it will pave the way for similar projects at other above-ground MRT stations, said a source.
Such developments will use up less land and, at the same time, maximise development around a transit station. The move would also be in line with the Government's aim to make Jurong East - where the terminus of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail will be - into a second Central Business District.
In response to queries, an LTA spokesman said international architectural firm Aedas has been appointed to conduct multidisciplinary consultancy services for the project, including the design of the building. The latest Budget book stated that $56.8 million has been set aside for the study as well as site investigations.
"As part of overall efforts to optimise land use by decentralising government offices away from the city centre, MOT and LTA are planning for a new MOT-LTA building adjacent to the existing Jurong East MRT station," the spokesman said, adding that the project will include an integrated transport hub.
The MOT-LTA building will free up sites currently occupied by the two organisations, including those at prime locations such as North Bridge Road and Hampshire Road. The MOT is currently housed at PSA Building in Alexandra Road.
The joint complex will also accommodate LTA's burgeoning headcount, currently hovering around 6,000. The LTA recently opened office premises in Bedok because there was no more space at its Hampshire Road location.
The LTA had previously wanted to build a multi-storey headquarters complex next to Buona Vista MRT station. That development - which was to cost around $500 million - would have yielded 120,000 sq m of office space, of which the authority had planned to lease out about half.
But a public outcry over the project's price tag derailed that plan. The site is now occupied by New Creation Church.
The new project, however, could cost more because of inflation.