- Facebook screenshot / Land Transport Authority
It’s settled – Phase 1 of the new MRT Cross Island Line (CRL1) will comprise of 12 stations.
They are Bright Hill, Teck Ghee, Ang Mo Kio, Tavistock, Serangoon North, Hougang, Defu, Tampines North, Pasir Ris, Pasir Ris East Loyang, Aviation Park and Changi East Depot.
Construction is broken up into three phases and CRL1 is slated to commence in 2020 until 2029, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) said on Friday (Jan 25).
CRL1 – measuring 29km long – will serve residential and industrial areas such as Loyang, Tampines, Pasir Ris, Defu, Hougang, Serangoon North and Ang Mo Kio.
“More than 100,000 households will benefit from CRL1, and common recreational spaces such as Changi Beach Park and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park will also become more accessible by public transport,” a statement said.
Four MRT lines will also connect to CRL1 – namely East-West Line (EWL) at Pasir Ris Station, North East Line (NEL) at Hougang Station, North-South Line (NSL) at Ang Mo Kio Station, and the upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) at Bright Hill Station.
According to LTA and SLA, CRL1 will shorten travel time for commuters between the central, north-eastern and eastern parts of Singapore. The authorities provided three examples of how much travel time can be saved with the introduction of CRL1.
For example, a commuter travelling from Serangoon North to Loyang Industrial Estate on the new line will save up to 70 per cent of travel time – as compared to taking the bus.
When construction of all three phases is completed, CRL will be Singapore’s eighth MRT line – the longest fully underground line yet – and will link major hubs such as Jurong Lake District, Punggol Digital District and Changi region, while serving the eastern, western, and north-eastern parts of Singapore.
Its 57-hectare surface depot will be at Changi East and will provide stabling and maintenance facilities for up to 80 CRL trains.
LTA predicts that more than 600,000 commuters will ride on CRL initially, and eventually one million, making it Singapore’s most heavily-used rail line.
A challenge to build Bright Hill Station
Bright Hill Station – a station on CRL1 which is also on TEL2 – will serve schools including Ai Tong Primary School and residential areas like Sin Ming Garden, Faber Gardens and The Gardens at Bishan.
In a separate statement released by LTA today, the authority said that construction for TEL2 is “progressing well” and that its set to be up and running in 2020 – while the full TEL is slated to be fully operational in 2024.
In its statement, LTA revealed that “unique geographical conditions in the area” made it difficult to construct the TEL Bright Hill Station, which measures 240 metres long and 20 metres deep, and has four entrances.
Here’s an artist’s impression of the interior of Bright Hill Station – which is also designated as a Civil Defence shelter – and one of its entrances.
So far, constructing the station hasn’t been easy.
Due to the hard granite rocks in this area, additional equipment, specialised machinery and methods were employed to install more than 1,500 bored piles needed for a structure that retains soil and facilitates underground excavation works.
Meanwhile, ground strengthening works had to be done before workers could start tunneling works due to the soft soil and loose sand underlain by hard granite under Inglewood Estate and Kallang River.
Furthermore, as Bright Hill Station is located underneath Sin Ming Avenue and Sin Ming Walk, six stages of traffic diversion have been conducted and four more are planned “in the near future to facilitate reinstatement works”.
As of now, construction of the underground structure and track laying works have been done and the above-ground structures are “close to completion”, LTA said.
“Electrical and mechanical works are about 30 per cent completed, while architectural design works are ongoing,” the authority added.