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More than 18 incidents every day on MCE, KPE: LTA staff

Staff at the Land Transport Authority (LTA) say they see between 18 and 45 incidents every day in their 24-hour watch over the 17-kilometre stretch of the MCE/KPE.

SNGAPORE: The Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE) was opened some five months ago and since then, staff at the Land Transport Authority (LTA) say they face challenges in monitoring its flow of traffic.

The challenges come with having to monitor a longer expressway, as the MCE connects to the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE).

LTA staff say they see between 18 and 45 incidents every day in their 24-hour watch over the 17-kilometre stretch of the MCE/KPE.

Apart from working nights, the staff at the expressway's nerve centre have to contend with other challenges than just avoiding sleep.

For example, with the opening of the MCE, there are now more lanes -- five on each side -- which means more traffic going in and out of the tunnels.

There are about five people working in the MCE/KPE's operations control room during each of the three shifts, including emergency personnel who will be deployed when incidents such as vehicle breakdowns occur.

Staff also have to monitor the congestion that could arise as a result, as well as monitor the numerous “lane use control signals” in the tunnel.

The operations control room staff say they also work closely with the Traffic Police and Singapore Civil Defence Force.

"When we take over duty, we will look at and take over ongoing cases, and we will get information from the colleague on ongoing cases and handle them,” said Muhamad Shah Reza Ahmad, assistant operations manager at the KPE/MCE Operations Control Centre.

“When we take over, there could be accidents that are happening at the moment, and we get information like -- has Traffic Police been despatched, has the SCDF been despatched, are there any injuries involved in the accidents?"

But sometimes, there are unforeseen situations.

"We do, quite often, get cyclists that probably got lost and cycle through the tunnel. What we will do is to send tow trucks and our LTA Traffic Marshals to inform them that cyclists are not allowed in the tunnel," said Mr Shah.

LTA says it takes under eight minutes to respond to incidents in the tunnel from the time they occur. 

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