SINGAPORE - A 420m long undersea tunnel for motorists will be completed by the end of the year, The Straits Times reported on Saturday.
The first of its kind in Singapore, the tunnel is part of the 5km Marina Coastal Expressway - a $4.3 billion project which will facilitate traffic flow in and out of the Marina Bay area.
The new expressway will link the East Coast Parkway (ECP) and Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway with the Ayer Rajah Expressway in the west, the newspaper said.
Targeted to complete by the end of 2013, the five-lane expressway - which started construction some three years ago - will be able to carry up to 10,000 vehicles an hour in each direction.
It will also allow motorists to bypass the Marina Bay Area, which is expected to see heavier traffic in the coming years with new developments like a financial centre, an international cruise terminal and Gardens by the Bay coming up.
The expressway will have a total of nine entry and exit points to the ECP, Marina Boulevard, Central Boulevard and Maxwell Road.
Compared to the other nine expressways, it will be the most expensive built in Singapore, in terms of cost per kilometre, The Straits Times reported.
To date, the first stage of the undersea tunnel section, which dives 20m under the sea, has been completed.
Because of the discharge of water from the nearby Marina Barrage, building the undersea tunnel is especially complex.
According to The Straits Times, the barrage discharges up to 2,000 cubic metres of water per second at its peak. To cope with this, engineers had to build strong enough temporary walls which could withstand the force of the discharge.
|Undersea tunnel to be completed end of 2012
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(Photos: LTA, ST graphics)