The Land Transport Authority (LTA) today marked the start of the Cross Island Line (CRL) Phase 1 construction with a ground-breaking ceremony officiated by Minister for Transport S Iswaran at the site of the future CRL Bright Hill station.
2. The CRL will be Singapore’s eighth and longest fully-underground MRT line at more than 50 kilometres long when fully completed. It will serve the existing and future developments in the eastern, western and north-eastern corridors, linking major hubs such as the Jurong Lake District, Punggol Digital District and Changi. The projected daily ridership of the entire CRL is more than 600,000 in the initial years from 2030, increasing to over 1 million in the longer term. It will be constructed and opened in three phases.
3. The first phase – CRL Phase 1 – spans 29 kilometres and comprises 12 stations from Aviation Park to Bright Hill. This will serve residential and industrial areas such as Loyang, Hougang and Ang Mo Kio. CRL Phase 1 will be linked to East-West Line at Pasir Ris station, North-East Line at Hougang station, North-South Line at Ang Mo Kio station and Thomson-East Coast Line at Bright Hill station. LTA is progressively calling tenders for CRL Phase 2 which comprises six stations from Turf City to Jurong Lake District, while engineering studies are ongoing for the third phase.
4. CRL Bright Hill station will also be connected to a new Transit Priority Corridor (TPC) along Sin Ming Avenue to allow multi-modal transfer to the bus and active mobility networks. The 2-km stretch of TPC will include a dedicated bus lane, new cycling paths and wider footpaths. When the TPC is fully completed in 2029, residents in Sin Ming area will have more travel options to get to Bright Hill MRT station and recreational spaces such as Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.
5. Residents, commuters and motorists in Pasir Ris and Changi/ Loyang can also look forward to increased convenience, shorter travelling times, as well as improved intra-town and inter-town connectivity when the future CRL Pasir Ris, Pasir Ris East and Loyang stations are completed. Construction for CRL Phase 1 is expected to be completed by 2030.
Engineering challenges and construction methods
6. Various technologies have been adopted to enhance construction efficiency and safety at CRL. These include the use of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality tools to enhance capabilities and facilitate coordination. Productivity is further increased through platforms such computer simulations of different operating scenarios at the Changi East Depot.
7. Large-diameter Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) will be used to construct various stretches of tunnels between the CRL stations such as between Aviation Park station and Loyang station. The 12.6 metres large-diameter TBMs will only have to bore through the ground once for the construction of the tunnel with two tracks eventually housed in it. This will be the largest tunnel boring machine to be deployed on an LTA rail project and it is expected to increase work productivity and reduce manpower requirements.
8. Construction works for the paid transfer link to the existing East-West Line (EWL) Pasir Ris station are also ongoing. Due to site constraints at the track viaduct, specialised equipment such as a low headroom mobile crane has been deployed for works such as the construction of the diaphragm wall. LTA and the contractor will monitor the works closely to ensure that they are carried out safely and inconveniences minimised.
9. At the CRL Teck Ghee station, a rectangular Tunnel Boring Machine will be used for the construction of the underground linkways. To improve overall construction productivity and safely, LTA will be adopting the trenchless method, where operational parameters during tunnelling are controlled to minimise surface settlement. LTA will also be exploring other innovative construction methods at the CRL to improve overall construction productivity and safety.
10. The CRL trains will be stabled at the 57-hectare Changi East Depot, located near Changi Exhibition Centre. The depot will include the Operations Control Centre as well as maintenance facilities for up to 70 CRL trains, and fitted with photovoltaic solar panels to generate renewable energy for depot operations.
Annex A: Cross Island Line Phase 1 alignment map
Annex B: Artist impressions of CRL Phase 1 stations