From Nov 25, well ahead of schedule, Punggol residents will have a new road connection linking Punggol Central to both the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) and the Tampines Expressway (TPE).
This road was originally slated to open in the third quarter of next year, but took a faster track thanks to technologies such as virtual modelling and precast construction, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) told The Straits Times yesterday. It may also serve as a template for future projects.
A road linking the KPE to Punggol Central, including a flyover across the TPE, will also open on Nov 25. Another road linking the TPE to Punggol Central will be completed by the second quarter of next year.
These are part of a $185 million expansion of the KPE-TPE intersection, which is aimed at easing traffic congestion on the TPE as well as the network of roads that lead out of the north-east town.
The design and construction of a 160m-long bridge spanning Sungei Serangoon - which would have normally taken about three years - was cut by up to nine months.
Contractor Hwa Seng Builder achieved this with the use of computers for processes such as building information modelling as well as virtual design and construction.
These methods were used to simulate the bridge's construction and identify possible risks, within a virtual environment.
Precasting - where concrete parts are moulded before being transported to the construction site for assembly - was also used extensively for the bridge. The beams, crossheads and columns for the bridge were all precast, lowering costs and improving quality control.
Using precast elements also reduced the risk of environmental damage caused by concrete spilling into the river below, which serves as a reservoir.
These methods will also be used for the remaining phases of the project to ensure "continued efficiency and safety", said LTA.
LTA road and commuter infrastructure development group director Yap Boon Leong said the use of such innovative methods helped "reduce labour-intensive works, speed up our road construction process and streamline operations".
"Such technologies ensure enhanced safety in the construction of infrastructure such as bridges or flyovers," he said, adding that LTA would continue to employ technology for road works.
Meanwhile, three temporary slip roads - linking Punggol East to the KPE, as well as both the TPE and KPE to Lorong Halus - will be decommissioned at 4pm on Nov 25.
The second phase of the expansion of the interchange between the two expressways will be completed by the second quarter of 2021.
This phase will include a vehicular bridge across Sungei Serangoon, flyovers across the TPE and KPE, and a new road between Lorong Halus and Pasir Ris Industrial Drive 1.
Correction note: This story has been corrected to say that another road linking the TPE to Punggol Central will be completed by the second quarter of next year. We are sorry for the error.