SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): A viaduct in Changi that was initially delayed by a fatal and costly construction accident will finally open on Feb 19.
In its latest update on Friday (Feb 3) morning, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that with the opening of the viaduct – now officially named Tampines Viaduct – motorists will have an additional and direct route when travelling from Tampines Expressway (TPE) to Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) and Upper Changi Road East.
They will be able to bypass a stretch of the TPE between the Loyang and Upper Changi flyovers, as well as existing signalised junctions with Loyang Avenue and Upper Changi Road North.
The 1.8km-long, one-way viaduct will have a new exit (2A) from the TPE (towards PIE) after the existing Exit 2 that will help to redistribute the traffic heading to the PIE (towards Tuas) and Upper Changi Road East, the LTA added.
Construction of the viaduct – originally called TPE/PIE/Changi viaduct or Changi viaduct – was initially undertaken by local builder OKP Holdings for $94.6 million in 2015. It was to be completed by the first quarter of 2020.
But a collapse of a section of the viaduct in July 2017 – caused by a series of erroneous designs, poor oversight and cover-ups – delayed works.
The collapse killed one worker and injured 10 others.
Hwa Seng Builder eventually took over the project for S$95.6 million. Work – including realigning part of the TPE and PIE – resumed in 2019, and the viaduct was scheduled to open in the first half of 2022.
But the Covid-19 pandemic caused another delay. Among other things, the pandemic crimped worker supply because of stricter border movements and quarantine requirements. Curtailed freight movements also caused a shortage of materials, according to industry players.
In an update in September 2021, the LTA said the viaduct would open in the second half of 2022. After three missed deadlines, the project is now close to completion and will open on Feb 19.