Marina expressway ready by year-end

Marina expressway ready by year-end
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SINGAPORE - Finishing touches are being applied on the Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE), which is on track to open by the end of this year.

All structural works have been completed on the 5km, $4.3 billion highway, including a 420m undersea tunnel.

The bulk of electrical and mechanical systems has been installed and contractors have begun testing and commissioning those systems, a process that will take about five months.

This update on Singapore's 10th expressway was given by Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew after he visited the MCE control centre on Thursday. It will be a key link connecting expressways in the east and west, he said.

"The MCE will offer commuters a direct and high-capacity link to the new downtown at Marina Bay, and is therefore a critical development that supports Singapore's growth as a financial hub."

It will connect East Coast Parkway (ECP) and the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) with the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE).

With five lanes each way, it can carry 10,000 vehicles an hour in each direction and replace the ECP as the main route for motorists travelling across the various expressways. Designed with a top speed of 80kmh, the MCE will link to the KPE, which has a maximum speed of 70kmh.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said it is assessing whether to raise the KPE speed limit to match that of the MCE.

After the MCE opens, a portion of the ECP after Benjamin Sheares Bridge will be downgraded to an arterial road, with traffic lights and crossings, that connects to the Central Business District (CBD).

Currently, the Marina area is split in half by the ECP. The downgraded portion of the ECP will be named Sheares Avenue.

The LTA will readjust several Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantries to cover the new road connections created by the MCE.