Saturday, 22 September 2012

Bukit Timah canal to be widened and deepened

Project targeted for completion by 2016; road diversions to take place in the later stages
by Woo Sian Boon, TODAY, 21 Sep 2012

To further alleviate floods along Bukit Timah Road, national water agency PUB yesterday announced plans to widen and deepen the Bukit Timah First Diversion Canal.

The upgrading work will increase the capacity of the upper Bukit Timah catchment area by 30 per cent.

Measuring 3.2km, the Bukit Timah First Diversion Canal serves areas where places such as Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Beauty World Plaza, Bukit Timah Shopping Centre and Sime Darby Centre are located.

Targeted to be completed by 2016, PUB's project will be carried out in three phases, with the first phase starting next month.

Under this phase, which will cost about S$33.7 million, a 160m-long culvert will be constructed across Ulu Pandan Road.

As part of the work, six lanes of the road leading towards Clementi and the city will be diverted. The road diversions will take place in the later stages of construction to minimise disruption to residents at Pine Grove condominium.

Nevertheless, an overhead bridge and two bus stops in front of the condominium will be relocated.

The second phase - between Maple Avenue and Holland Green - is expected to start in the second quarter of next year, while the third phase - between Holland Green and Clementi Road - will begin in the third quarter of next year.

PUB said it had briefed Pine Grove's management corporation on the work and had taken on board feedback.

Said Mr Tan: "For example, (they) requested for the temporary bus stop and overhead bridge to be shifted nearer to them. When we first designed, we placed the bridge about 100m away ... but upon their request, we actually shifted the bridge by 80m. We have also incorporated other things like sheltered walkways."

However, residents TODAY spoke to claimed they were unaware of PUB's plans. Master's student Chia Shuhui, 24, said: "In the long run, it's probably going to be good because it'll alleviate flood prevention but, in the short run ... it's going to jam really bad because every time it rains, the roads will jam. I'm going to have to walk a longer distance to either bus stop to get to school, which would mean more travel time."

The PUB said the work will be carried out in sections to minimise disruption to the public.

Among the measures to control noise and pollution are the erection of noise barriers and the restriction of working hours from 8am to 6pm on Mondays to Saturdays.

Closed-circuit television cameras will also be installed to monitor both the flow of water during storms and traffic conditions during construction.

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