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Proposed semi-expressway to enhance accessibility in Punggol

SINGAPORE — A semi-expressway in Punggol could be on the cards to link the fast-growing estate to Seletar, Pasir Ris and other towns along the northern coast of the island.

Proposed semi-expressway in Punggol.

Proposed semi-expressway in Punggol.

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SINGAPORE — A semi-expressway in Punggol could be on the cards to link the fast-growing estate to Seletar, Pasir Ris and other towns along the northern coast of the island.

This proposed development is on top of a new road that will be built to connect Punggol Central to the Tampines Expressway (TPE) and the Kallang–Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE).

Meanwhile, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) has also called a tender for a new road to be built and for existing roads to be extended in the Punggol Matilda district. The work under the tender is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Plans for the enhancements to Punggol’s road network were first revealed in the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Draft Master Plan which was released last month.

Responding to TODAY’s queries, a Land Transport Authority (LTA) spokesperson said the proposed semi-expressway will provide an east to west link for several towns in the northern region. It will also serve the Punggol North area, which has been planned for housing, commercial and education activities, the spokesperson added.

A feasibility study will be carried out and the “alignment and form” of the new semi-expressway are still being looked at by the relevant government agencies.

On the construction timeline, the spokesperson said if implemented, it will be “timed in tandem with future developments in Punggol North in the longer term”.

Compared to a full-fledged expressway, a semi-expressway carries a smaller load and has lower speed limits. Existing examples are the West Coast Highway and the Nicoll Highway, where vehicles are allowed to travel at a maximum of 70kmh.

When fully developed, Punggol will be Singapore’s largest town, at twice the size of today’s Ang Mo Kio estate. Citing traffic jams and packed trains during peak hours, residents had previously raised concerns that the fast-expanding town is under-served by roads to other parts of the island.

Punggol residents TODAY spoke to said the proposed enhancements could not come soon enough.

“More roads and connections to the expressway as soon as possible are welcomed so we have more options to beat the bottlenecks,” said marketing executive Alvin Ng, 34. Property agent Karen Lim, 33, added: “The TPE is the fastest way out of Punggol right now. Having more links should spread out the traffic and make the drive to and from work more comfortable.”

Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Member of Parliament Janil Puthucheary, who is in charge of the Punggol West ward, reiterated that he has received feedback from residents about the need for more transport links in the town.

The decision to build the new road to connect Punggol Central to the TPE and KPE came after a feasibility study was completed this year.

Under the HDB’s tender, which was put up two weeks ago, a new road called Sumang Lane will be built in the Punggol Matilda district.

A HDB spokesperson said that, in tandem with the development of Build-To-Order projects, two existing roads — Punggol Field and Sumang Walk — will also be extended in the Matilda and Waterway West districts. The new road and the extensions to be built over the next two years range from 180m to 800m in length.

The spokesperson noted that key infrastructure such as major roads, drains and sewers are provided ahead of the development of a town or neighbourhood. “This is to prepare the site and provide accessibility and connectivity to support future developments. Other roads serving the area are (built) concurrently with the building developments,” she added.

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