A GROUNDBREAKING ceremony in Chinatown yesterday marked the start of construction of the $12billion, 40-kilometre Downtown MRT line.
The ceremony, conducted by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), took place at the Chinatown station on Downtown Line (DTL) Stage 1. Chinatown is one of six stations on the 4.3km fully underground line, which is scheduled to be completed by 2013. The other stations are Cross Street, Landmark, Bayfront, Promenade and Bugis.
‘The DTL will enable commuters on all existing MRT lines to transfer to the DTL with ease at designated interchanges,’ said LTA chairman Michael Lim.
‘By 2013, the completed DTL1 will link commuters to the exciting developments in Marina Bay, such as the Business Financial Centre and (Marina Bay) Sands Resort, as well as the Central Business District.’
The LTA says DTL1 will run through some of the busiest corridors in the city, easing congestion at major interchanges like Dhoby Ghaut and Raffles Place interchanges.
Five contracts, worth a total of $1.18 billion, have been awarded for DTL1. Two others, for Bugis and Promenade stations, will be awarded by the end of this year.
The DTL will be built in three stages, with Stage 2 to be completed in 2015 and Stage 3 in 2016. When fully completed, the DTL will strengthen the connectivity of the Rapid Transit System network and facilitate direct travel from the north-western and eastern areas of the island to the CBD and Marina Bay.
The DTL is expected to cater to over 500,000 passengers each day when fully operational.
‘The DTL is one of several extensive new rail and road projects that will be a significant boon to Singapore’s transport network, and to the economy,’ Mr Lim said.
The government has committed $20 billion for the DTL, as well as the in-progress Boon Lay Extension and Circle Line. Other plans include the Thomson Line, and extensions to the North-South line and East-West line.
By 2020, Singapore’s rail line will have doubled in length to 278km, said Mr Lim.
Source: Business Times 13 Feb 08