Today, the Land Transport Authority marked the start of the Johor Bahru – Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link construction in Singapore with a groundbreaking ceremony, officiated by Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung, at the site of the RTS Link Woodlands North station.
2 The RTS Link is a 4km rail shuttle service between the Singapore terminus at Woodlands North station and the Malaysia terminus at Bukit Chagar station in Johor Bahru. It has a large capacity of up to 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction. Passengers will enjoy a fast and seamless experience travelling between Singapore and Johor Bahru on the RTS Link, and a journey time of about five minutes between the two stations. Furthermore, the Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities of Singapore and Malaysia will be co-located at Woodlands North and Bukit Chagar stations, which means that passengers only need to clear the immigration authorities once, i.e. at their point of departure. When the RTS Link opens for service at the end of 2026, it will be a game changer that will significantly improve connectivity between Singapore and Johor Bahru and ease congestion along the Causeway.
3 The first of two civil contracts for the construction of the RTS Link was awarded to Penta-Ocean Construction Co Ltd. This contract covers the construction of the RTS Link Woodlands North station, tunnels and the CIQ building in Singapore. The second civil contract covers the construction of the RTS Link viaduct, and is targeted to be awarded in the first quarter of 2021.
4 The RTS Link Woodlands North Station will be constructed underground at a maximum depth of 28 metres. There will be three stories, with two basement levels and an underground linkway to the CIQ building. The RTS Link Woodlands North Station and CIQ building are approximately 10 times the size of a typical MRT station. These facilities will be adjacent to Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) Woodlands North MRT station and be seamlessly connected via an underground concourse. The tunnels will be connected to the viaduct that crosses the Straits of Johor at a height of 25 metres.
5 Ground conditions are expected to be challenging because it is a site of granite condition. Therefore, construction will involve the use of high-capacity drilling machines, extended piling works as well as rock demolition during the excavation works. As construction activities will take place near an operational MRT station and ‘live’ utilities, these activities will be carefully managed to minimise impact to the general public and ensure the structural safety of the surrounding infrastructure. LTA will also implement additional measures such as real-time instrumentation monitoring and rigorous survey checks.
6 Aside from the technical complexities, the cross-border nature of the construction also means that many stakeholders on both sides are involved. Both sides have been in close discussions and coordination to ensure the smooth and timely implementation of the RTS Link Project. The Land Transport Authority remains committed to working closely with all relevant parties to see through the successful implementation of the RTS Link Project.