SINGAPORE – Upper Bukit Timah Road will turn two-way from 6am on Friday (April 2) with the completion of a new city-bound road, shortening journeys for motorists driving in the direction of Dunearn Road and Clementi Road and easing congestion in the area.
The major road project was announced in 2015 and is aimed at easing jams near Jalan Anak Bukit. It had been slated to be completed in 2019 but was delayed until 2021 in part due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The project involves the construction of a 400m city-bound, three-lane road between Jalan Jurong Kechil and Clementi Road, passing by much-frequented buildings in the area including Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre and Bukit Timah Plaza.
This provides motorists with an alternative way to the city, helping to distribute traffic away from the busy Jalan Anak Bukit and Jalan Jurong Kechil intersection.
Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and National Development, announced on Tuesday that the road would be opened on April 2.
The MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC wrote: “Many of our residents would have noticed that the stretch of Upper Bukit Timah Road near Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre, Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School and Bukit Timah Plaza will be transformed to a dual carriageway come April 2.
“This is a major change for the neighbourhood.”
With the new road, motorists travelling from the Toh Tuck, Toh Yi and Bukit Batok estates via Jalan Jurong Kechil can turn right at the junction with Upper Bukit Timah Road to get to Dunearn Road, Clementi Road or the city.
Minor road works associated with the project will continue until the third quarter of this year, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said, although this timeline is subject to the Covid-19 situation.
Traffic marshals will be deployed to the area and signs will be put up.
Mr Glenn Wee, 29, who works at Bukit Timah Plaza, said he has been driving to and from work every day for the last three years. The new road should save him 10 minutes of driving time.
The relationship manager at a bank said: “Previously, I had to go one big round at Jalan Jurong Kechil to reach (Bukit Timah) Plaza. Now I can turn directly into the plaza with the new road.”
Mr Wee, however, wondered if the new road might help with congestion on Upper Bukit Timah Road near Ngee Ann Polytechnic between 7.30am and 8.30am, when parents take their children to school.
As part of the project, the entrance to Bukit Timah Plaza’s drop-off and pick up point will be relocated from Upper Bukit Timah Road to Jalan Anak Bukit from Friday.
The Straits Times spoke to stall owners at Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre who said they welcomed the change, adding that the new two-way road will allow buses to stop opposite the hawker centre instead of at Jalan Anak Bukit, which is a 10-minute walk away.
Ms Mei Fang, owner of Go Pasta at the market, hopes it will improve business for her. “It would be better for residents from Toh Yi HDB blocks and others coming from Jalan Jurong Kechil, since they can turn right and go to Bukit Timah Road more easily.”
For Mr Chris Ng, 48, who lives at Sherwood Towers above Bukit Timah Plaza, the completion of the six-year project is, more than anything, a welcome relief.
The father to a 13-year-old daughter said: ” Major construction for years had made crossing the area very daunting, especially for children. I’m happy it is finally ending.”
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