URA: Enhanced makeover around Kallang River area

As a part of a makeover of the 14 km-long water body, announced last month, connectivity and access for pedestrians and cyclists will be enhanced at several spots along the Kallang River.

Yesterday, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said that it has identified seven locations where accessibility will be improved. Providing more details on the rejuvenation plans, it said the locations are currently hindered by major roads – the Central Expressway (CTE), the Pan Island Expressway (PIE), Serangoon Road, Bendemeer Road, Kallang Bahru, Boon Keng Road and Sims Avenue.

​ Enhanced makeover around Kallang River area
Photo courtesy: World Landscape Architecture

A new underpass will be built at the Sims Avenue area near Kallang MRT Station to shorten the time taken to travel across the road and act as a connector between Kallang MRT and the Singapore Sports Hub. The proposed underpass will also provide an alternative route for pedestrians and cyclists to solve the traffic crossing at Geylang Lorong 1, which is in the vicinity, getting crowded especially when events are held at the Sports Hub.

A spiral bridge spanning across the PIE will also be constructed, where parks and other related amenities could be built at the foot of the crossing which links to Mar Thoma Road.

URA executive architect Sean Tan said the PIE project would be the most challenging because of the expressway, spanning 16 lanes, that divides the river. Currently, pedestrians and cyclists need to climb up an overhead bridge with more than 130 steps. The new bridge will allow those with mobility issues, including wheelchair users, to make the journey across, after its completion.

World Landscape Architecture
Photo courtesy: World Landscape Architecture

The initiatives to bring about a “long and continuous park experience” will not only create an “attractive environment” for people to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, they will also connect communities, Tan said.

Two underpasses, running under the Central Expressway (CTE) and Geylang Road, will be enhanced. Other three will be built at Sims Avenue, Kallang Bahru, and Upper Boon Keng Road.

The underpass, which has a height clearance of about 2m, will also be widened and deepened to provide more headroom for cyclists.

Lighting will be improved in the CTE underpass, which links Toa Payoh Lorong 8 and Potong Pasir Avenue 1.

Instead of underpasses, signalised pedestrian crossings will be up at Bendemeer Road and Serangoon Road. This was because there are electrical cables, among other things, running under the roads, which would require any underground links to be built deeper down, said the URA.

The URA had started looking into improving connectivity along Kallang River since 2014. A year later, it invited consultants to propose design and technical solutions.

The URA is seeking public feedback on the facelift for Kallang River, with an exhibition, A River Runs Through It, held at the URA centre from March 29 to May 2.