Monday 22 September 2014

Punggol to get better links to highways

Road expansion project to meet anticipated growth in traffic will be completed by 2019
By Carolyn Khew, The Sunday Times, 21 Sep 2014

Punggol residents can look forward to less congested roads and better connectivity from the expressways to where they live.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has called for a tender to expand the intersection of the two expressways that lead to Punggol - the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) and Tampines Expressway (TPE) - so as to ease traffic flow.

It will also construct a new arterial road linking the intersection to Punggol to offer motorists greater access to the town.

Construction is expected to begin by the middle of next year after tenders are awarded.

When the project is completed by 2019 as slated, it will provide a new link between Punggol and the TPE.

Currently, those using the expressways to access Punggol can use only two exits on the TPE - Punggol Road and Punggol Way.

"The new project is needed to meet the expected growth in traffic demand generated by the growing Punggol Town and provide better access to the expressway network," said an LTA spokesman. He added that it will also support future plans for the area, which has been zoned by the Urban Redevelopment Authority for industrial use.

The expanded intersection, or interchange, will also provide a more direct connection between Punggol and the KPE, said the spokesman.

Punggol, a new town in the north-eastern corner of Singapore, is expected to get busier.

Works are under way to transform its town centre into a vibrant hub over the next few years.

A major mall, Waterway Point, will be completed by the end of next year. This will be followed by Punggol Town Square, a community gathering space next to Waterway Point.

The Housing Board will also launch more than 3,000 units, in blocks as tall as 26 storeys, next year in Punggol Northshore.

The tender contract involves the construction of a new flyover over the TPE as well as new vehicular bridges.

These bridges will be constructed across Sungei Serangoon next to the existing Halus Bridge, across Sungei Blukar for the new link road to Punggol Central, and across Sungei Serangoon for the link road to Punggol Central.

Member of Parliament for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, Dr Janil Puthucheary, said the expansion will help to ease congestion, especially during peak hours.

"Having improved accessibility is certainly something that residents have been asking for," he added.

Bank executive Jennifer Chan, 58, believes the expansion will help reduce crowded roads.

Said the Punggol resident: "It's very congested on the roads in the mornings. It takes 20 minutes to get from Punggol Road to TPE."

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