SINGAPORE: The new Canberra MRT station is on track to be completed by December next year, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said during a visit to the station’s worksite on Wednesday (May 9).
The station is located between Sembawang and Yishun stations, under the North-South Line. It will serve commuters living in nearby estates such as Sembawang Springs, as well as upcoming residential developments in Canberra.
When the station is completed, another 17,000 households will be within a 10-minute walk from an MRT station, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said. These commuters will also be able to cut 10 minutes from their journey when travelling to the city centre or Jurong East.
The station will have five entrances linking it to new housing estates and an elevated link bridge across Canberra Link for commuters to directly access the city-bound train platform.
It will also have covered linkways to bus stops, pick-up and drop-off points, as well as more than 500 bicycle parking lots.
BUILT ON TOP OF “LIVE” MRT LINE
Canberra is the second MRT station to be built on an existing MRT line, with the first being Dover. LTA said it had to implement measures to ensure the safety of the North-South Line’s existing structures while minimising disruptions to train services.
“As you can imagine, such projects are not easy to do. Ages ago I had an open heart surgery and surgeon asked me there are two ways to do. One is a very traditional open-heart method ... there’s another way which is you let the heart continue to beat and then you do the sewing while the heart is beating.
“And this (Canberra station) is something like open heart surgery. This is called the beating heart method. It can be done, but of course it’s very challenging,” said Mr Khaw.
To protect the railway tracks and running trains during the construction of the station roof, a temporary enclosure was erected to cover the tracks. Thereafter, “V-columns” were erected at the platform level to support the roof trusses, which have all been installed.
The station is 55 per cent completed, and all structural works will be completed in the third quarter of this year, LTA said. After completing structural works, LTA will fit out the architectural finishes and install electrical and mechanical services before it starts running tests.