SINGAPORE: The Tuas viaduct, a 4.8-km stretch linking Tuas South Avenue 3 to Tuas Road, will open on Feb 18 at 6am, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced on Thursday (Jan 19).
Built at a budget of S$3.5 billion over five years, the viaduct is the first in Singapore to integrate road and rail, and is aimed at enhancing transport connectivity to businesses in Tuas.
The stretch forms part of a 7.5-km rail viaduct linking the MRT stations of Tuas Link, Tuas West Road, Tuas Crescent and Gul Circle - slated to open in the second quarter of this year - with Joo Koon station on the East-West Line. Once opened, commuters to the Tuas area can save up to 35 minutes in travelling time, LTA said.
From Tuas West Road station to the area around Tuas Road, the rail viaduct runs directly above the road viaduct. The road viaduct in turn runs two lanes in each direction above the busy Pioneer Road over a 2.4-km stretch, with capacity for conversion to three lanes depending on future traffic needs.
LTA's director of the Tuas West Extension project, Andrew Yap, said the design of the integrated road-and-rail structure was a key challenge of the project.
"This integrated structure includes close to 100 columns. Each of the columns is designed to withstand up to 13,000 tonnes loading," said Mr Yap. He added that heavy lifting works for the construction project were carried out in the evenings, with lane closures and road diversions implemented to minimise inconvenience to motorists.
One business in the area told Channel NewsAsia that it hopes the new viaduct will help reduce congestion and drive further investment in the area. Mr Thomas Tan, general manager of Motiva Products and Services, said he expects more factories to shift to Tuas with the completion of the stretch.
"Without the expressway, I think nobody will come because the most important thing (is) traffic in Singapore is always jammed," he said.