SINGAPORE: An underpass will be built below the Bukit Timah Canal by 2020 for safer pedestrian crossing around the area, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced on Friday (Nov 10).
The underpass will be the second in Singapore to be built with a rectangular tunnel boring machine (RTBM), following one at Havelock.
Many existing underpasses were built using the cheaper conventional "cut-and-cover" method, but this caused a lot of inconvenience to motorists and other road users, said Mr Khaw in a Facebook post.
The RTBM, which excavates tunnels that are rectangular, minimises disruptions on the ground and increases productivity.
Pedestrians will be able to use the underpass to access the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), which will be ready in 2020, and the existing Downtown Line at Stevens Station.
"Pedestrian access between two lines can be achieved at ground level but Bt Timah Road is a busy highway," said Mr Khaw.
Many of the pedestrians around the area include students from Singapore Chinese Girls' School and St Joseph's Institution.
Students from both schools collected more than 400 palm prints on a banner to encourage the construction crew, which included workers from China, Korea, Singapore and India.