Saturday 31 May 2014

Covered walkways for 59 MRT stations by 2018

Commuters need not fear rain or shine with extra 200km planned
By Lee Jian Xuan, The Straits Times, 30 May 2014

HEARTLAND commuters will have sheltered walkways within a 400m radius of their nearest MRT station by 2018.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced in a statement yesterday that work on these walkways will begin in the final quarter of this year and be completed progressively over the next four years.

The move will add more than 200km of sheltered walkways, which now amount to 46km, to the public transport network.

Signs and local maps will be provided along with health information at rest-stops along the walkways.

"Commuters will enjoy a more comfortable walk to the transport nodes to get to their destinations - rain or shine," the LTA said.

In addition, it has called two tenders to add covered links to another 29 MRT stations, 38 LRT stations and one bus interchange.

Currently, sheltered walkways are provided from transport nodes to schools and health-care facilities within a 200m radius. They are also built within residential estates by town councils.

The LTA announced in January last year that under its Walk2Ride programme, coverage would be expanded to schools, residences and public amenities within a 400m radius of all MRT stations and a 200m radius of all LRT stations and bus interchanges.

It has awarded two of four contracts for the programme.

The first - worth $80.3 million and covering 24 MRT stations in the north-west - went to Singapore Piling & Civil Engineering-Shincon Industrial Joint Venture.

It will carry out work at most stations along the North-South line, between Ang Mo Kio and Bukit Batok, as well as stations along the East-West line, from Tiong Bahru to Joo Koon.

The second contract - for 35 stations in the north-east at a cost of $76.3 million - was awarded to Planar One & Associates.

The project will cover mainly stations along the North-East, East-West and Circle Lines, but it also includes the Bishan, Braddell and Toa Payoh stations along the North-South Line.

Retiree Lee Siew Hock, 85, who takes about 20 minutes to walk the 700m stretch from Tiong Bahru Plaza to his flat down the road at Jalan Bukit Ho Swee, said a covered link is "long overdue".

"This area has many old people, and we walk slower, so we are in the sun for even longer," he said.

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