Exercise Odyssey to Test Emergency Preparedness of New MCE Tunnel
The speed limit for the Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE) will be set at 80km/h when it opens on 29 December. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has also completed a review of the speed limit on the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) and will revise the speed limit on KPE from 70km/h to 80km/h to be in line with the limit for the MCE.
2. Due to the tight bends along the KPE, the speed limit was set at 70km/h when it opened in 2008. LTA also considered that motorists may not be familiar with driving in a long tunnel environment.
3. While the speed limit of the KPE tunnel can be raised to 80km/h, LTA will implement additional safety measures along the tight bends to enhance safety. These measures include reflective strips on tunnel walls, bend alignment lane markings (broader lane markings) as well as vibraline markings, to help guide motorists safely along the critical bends.
4. However, the 70km/h speed limit will be retained near the Upper Paya Lebar Road (North bound) exit and the Airport Road (South bound) entrance due to the tighter geometry of one bend (affecting both carriageways). Signs and speed limit markings will be painted on the road surface to remind motorists to observe the lower speed limit of 70km/h along this bend.
5. The new speed limit on KPE will apply from 29 December 2013 onwards, when MCE opens.
Emergency Exercise to test operational readiness of MCE tunnel
6. As part the preparation for the MCE opening, a joint emergency exercise was conducted this morning by the LTA together with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and Singapore Police Force (SPF) to test the operational readiness of the various public agencies during an emergency that takes place in the tunnel. The joint exercise also aims to improve the operational readiness of emergency responders, as well as to enhance cooperation between the agencies. Please refer to Annex A for photos of key highlights that took place during the exercise.
Safety within a road tunnel
7. With the opening of MCE, motorists will be able to connect seamlessly from the KPE tunnel to the MCE tunnel. Motorists can expect to drive for more than 12km in a tunnel environment when they use both the MCE and KPE.
8. Motorists should exercise caution and obey the traffic signs within and outside of the tunnels. Motorists should also adhere to safe driving practices, such as turning on their headlights and radio, when they enter the tunnel. Motorists can refer to Annex B for a list of safe driving practices when they are using the road tunnels.
9. To remind motorists of the need to obey these safe driving practices, reminder signs will be installed at the entrances to the KPE and MCE road tunnels. Motorists can also refer to the MyTransport.SG phone application for tips on how to use the road tunnels safely. This new feature will be available with the opening of MCE.
In the event of any emergency
10. Traffic conditions within the road tunnels are closely monitored on a 24-hour basis at the LTA Operations Control Centre (OCC). In the event of a fire within the road tunnels, emergency services such as the SCDF, Police, LTA Traffic Marshals and EMAS crew will be activated on site to manage the fire, assist motorists to evacuate, as well as to implement the tunnel closure and traffic diversion. The operators at the LTA OCC will activate the ventilation system to push the smoke downstream out of the tunnel and increase the tunnel lighting level to facilitate recovery operations. They will also broadcast tunnel closure messages advising motorists to avoid the area through various channels such as LTA traffic news, Twitter and on EMAS signs.
11. Should motorists encounter a fire or other emergencies while travelling in the tunnel, they can dial 995 for SCDF’s assistance. They can also tune in to the local radio channels to listen to the LTA emergency announcements and instructions. They should not proceed further or reverse their vehicle if red crosses are lit on the overhead lane use signs. Motorists are advised to stay calm, to turn off their vehicle engines and leave their vehicle for the nearest escape staircase or cross passage doors to evacuate the tunnel.