- POSTED: 15 Jan 2014 15:03
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The Land Transport Authority says motorists have generally experienced smooth traffic flow on the Marina Coastal Expressway since it opened on December 29.
SINGAPORE: The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said motorists have generally experienced smooth traffic flow on the Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE) since it opened on December 29.
The exception was on December 30 - the first working day after MCE became operational.
Based on its review of the traffic situation that morning, LTA said the congestion was due to several factors including motorists' lack of familiarity with the new network.
Another factor was a choke point along Central Boulevard.
LTA acknowledged that more could have been done in terms of signage, which could have minimised the congestion on the morning of December 30.
Based on traffic monitoring, LTA said peak hour traffic volumes on the MCE and East Coast Parkway (ECP) over the last two weeks are at the levels on the ECP prior to the opening of the MCE.
It noted that traffic volumes on the MCE and ECP are currently also below their design capacity.
LTA assured the public that the design of the expressway is not an issue.
Some motorists and commentators had suggested for example, that the number of lanes at the MCE connecting with the ECP were insufficient, and a sharp left turn at the ECP slip road connection to the MCE resulted in a slowdown.
LTA said as with all major road projects, comprehensive planning and traffic studies were conducted before the MCE was designed and constructed,
It had also engaged external consultants to validate the findings from these studies.
After the congestion on December 30, LTA took several immediate measures to address the problem.
These included adding and improving on-site signage, and converting a short stretch of Central Boulevard from two lanes to four lanes.
As for Electronic Road Pricing, LTA said while there are nine gantries now - replacing the seven gantries that were removed - motorists are not paying more than usual.
"We want to assure motorists that with the opening of the MCE, they're not charged more than the usual gantry they go through when they had been using the ECP," said Chua Chong Kheng, Deputy Chief Executive (Infrastructure & Development) at LTA.
He added: "For example, if you're heading from ECP westbound towards AYE, you have one gantry that's before Fort Road. Now with that gantry and with the change in the scheme, this gantry is now spread into three different physical gantries just to cater to the stream of traffic that's distributed three ways."
The final road network in Marina South is set to open in the third quarter of this year.
LTA said it will take the lessons learnt from the opening of the MCE and do even more in terms of signage and publicity to ensure a smooth drive for motorists.