The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded a $480 million civil contract for the design and construction of Maju station under Phase 2 of the Cross Island Line (CRL), the country’s eighth MRT line.
Construction work for the underground station, located beneath Clementi Road, will begin in the second quarter of 2024, with passenger service targeted to start in 2032.
The contract was awarded to KTC Civil Engineering and Construction, said LTA in a statement on Jan 31.
The authority added that the local firm had constructed Tampines interchange station on the Downtown Line and Orchard Boulevard station on the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), which are both underground.
The company is also in the finishing stage of construction for Sungei Bedok station on the TEL, said LTA.
Commuting between Maju station in the west and Hougang station in the north-east will take only 35 minutes, instead of one hour and five minutes currently via a transfer from a bus ride to an MRT journey via the North East Line.
Travelling between Maju station and Jurong Lake District station on the CRL will take 20 minutes, instead of 40 minutes now through a combination of a bus ride and an MRT journey from Clementi station to Jurong East station on the East-West Line, according to LTA.
As Maju station is an underground station located near residential developments and educational institutions, LTA noted that the works are expected to be challenging, given the undulating terrain and mixed ground conditions.
The authority added that earth-retaining and stabilising structures will be put in place before excavation and construction works for station structures begin, to ensure safety and ground stability.
After an environmental impact study on the works for CRL Phase 2 was conducted, initial plans to build Maju station within the boundaries of Clementi Forest were scrapped and changed to the location under Clementi Road.
This was to reduce the amount of forested land used for this phase of works.
In addition, the tunnels connecting Maju station and King Albert Park station on the CRL were realigned to limit the impact on the ecologically important area teeming with wildlife.
CRL construction sites close to ecologically sensitive areas, such as Clementi Forest and forests near the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, would also be reduced in size or relocated, according to the study.
But even with these mitigation strategies, the study found that CRL Phase 2 could still create a major environmental impact on forested areas near Eng Neo Avenue Forest, Clementi Forest and Windsor due to irreversible habitat loss.
LTA said it would continue to engage nature groups and other stakeholders to keep them informed of the construction progress and mitigation measures – including the establishment of a flora and fauna management programme, as well as regular inspections of earth-control measures.
The authority will also continue to engage various stakeholders, including nature groups, during construction.
Constructed in three phases, CRL will be the nation’s longest fully underground line spanning more than 50km long.
It will serve existing and future developments in the eastern, western and north-eastern corridors, connecting major hubs such as Jurong Lake District, Punggol Digital District and the Changi region.
Construction has commenced for the 29km CRL Phase 1, which includes 12 stations from Aviation Park to Bright Hill, and is targeted to be completed by 2030.
When ready, the 15km CRL Phase 2, consisting of six stations from Turf City to Jurong Lake District, will improve connections to the western part of Singapore.
Engineering studies for CRL Phase 3 are still in progress.
Credit : THE STRAITS TIMES