The COVID-19 pandemic has not only resulted in delays in housing projects, but also public projects such as the construction of upcoming MRT lines and stations. In fact, construction of future MRT projects will be delayed for up to a year, as a result of material supply disruptions and manpower crunch.
Needless to say, the delays would have caused some great inconvenience to you, especially if you’ve pinned your hopes on the completion of certain MRT stations on lines.
Here’s the lowdown on the various MRT projects that have been delayed:
|MRT Line/station||Estimated completion date/year|
|Thomson-East Coast Line||28 August 2021 (Stage 2), from 2022 to 2025 (stages 3 to 5)|
|Cross-Island Line||From 2030|
|Jurong Region Line||From 2027 to 2029|
|Circle Line Stage 6||2026|
|Downtown Line Phase 3 Extension||2025|
|Hume MRT station||2025|
|Punggol Coast MRT station||2023|
Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL)
Phase two of the TEL consists of six stations: Springleaf, Lentor, Mayflower, Bright Hill, Upper Thomson and Caldecott, and was initially scheduled to open in end-2020.
However, the opening of the stations was pushed back by three months to Q1 2021 as construction was halted during the circuit breaker period. However, a signalling fault saw the opening pushed back for a further six months. It’s currently scheduled to open on 28 August 2021.
Meanwhile, stages 3, 4, and 5 have all been delayed for another year, and are scheduled to open progressively in different stages from 2022 to 2025.
Cross-Island Line (CRL)
The first phase of the 29km-long CRL is expected to be operational in 2030, a year later than initially planned. Construction works have already begun, and the construction of several stations, such as Hougang MRT station and Pasir Ris MRT interchange station are also expected to commence in Q4 2021.
Phase one of the CRL comprises 12 stations: Aviation Park, Loyang, Pasir Ris East, Pasir Ris, Tampines North, Defu, Hougang, Serangoon North, Tavistock, Ang Mo Kio, Teck Ghee, and Bright Hill. When completed, over 100,000 households will benefit from the new stations, and can look forward to reduced travel times.
The Punggol Extension on the CRL, meanwhile, was slated to open in 2031 but has since been delayed to 2032. The 7.3km line connects commuters from Punggol to Pasir Ris and consists of four stations: Punggol, Riviera, Elias, and Pasir Ris.
Jurong Region Line (JRL)
The JRL was originally scheduled to begin operation by 2026. However, like other MRT projects, construction of the JRL has also been pushed back to up to a year, and is expected to open in different phases from 2027 to 2029.
The good news is that construction of most stations and viaducts have already started, and contracts of all rail systems have also been awarded.
Singapore’s seventh MRT line comprises 24 stations and will serve key locations in the west such as Choa Chu Kang, Jurong East, Boon Lay/Jurong West, Jurong Industrial Estate, and NTU.
Circle Line (CCL) Stage 6
Initially planned to open in 2025, Stage 6 of the CCL which consists of three stations—Keppel, Cantonment, and Prince Edward Road— has also been pushed back to 2026 due to construction delays caused by the pandemic.
Downtown Line (DTL) Phase 3 Extension (Xilin MRT station and Sungei Bedok MRT station)
Xillin and Sungei Bedok MRT stations are part of the DTL Phase 3 extension (DTL3e). The 2.2km line will see the DTL connected to the TEL, with Sungei Bedok being an interchange station.
Additionally, The DTL3e also provides residents in the Marine Parade area direct access to the East-West Line (EWL) via Expo MRT; help to reduce travelling time from Marine Parade to Tampines and vice versa.
Although scheduled to complete by 2024, the stations will now only be ready in 2025.
Hume MRT Station on the DTL
The shell of Hume MRT station on the DTL was constructed in 2015. However, the opening of the station was put on hold, with low ridership and a lack of development in the area cited as the main reasons.
However, in Jan 2021, the government gave the green light for the station to be operational on the back of the redevelopment of the Rail Corridor and former Bukit Timah Fire Station. Although construction work was initially scheduled to start at Q4 2020, it was delayed to Q1 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic impacting the approval process by the relevant agencies. The station is currently targeted to be operational by 2025.
Punggol Coast MRT Station
Punggol Coast MRT station on the North-East Line (NEL) was scheduled to open in 2023 but the opening of the station has been pushed back to 2024 instead. The station is more than 40% completed and will connect commuters to the future Punggol Digital District, which is on track for completion from 2023.
How Do MRT Construction Delays Affect Homeowners?
Generally, the closer the property to an MRT station, the more expensive it is. With the delay of the above MRT projects, here’s how the constructions delays may affect you:
1. Prolonged Construction Inconvenience
While living close to an upcoming MRT station definitely has its benefits, there are some drawbacks as well. For example, you need to deal with dust and noise from the construction site, as well as traffic jams from road diversions. Some of the construction may also continue at night and during weekends, which may affect your sleep and relaxing time.
And with the temporary setbacks of the MRT projects, it means you need to put up with these inconveniences for up to another year, especially if your home is close to an MRT construction site.
2. Delayed Improved Accessibility
Buyers who have bought a home in an area that’s not very accessible by public transport, such as Tengah, will also need to put up with the lack of public transport accessibility for another year. Additionally, those who have been waiting a long time for an MRT station to be at your doorstep or shortened commute times, will also have to wait a bit longer for the MRT project to be completed.
3. Delayed Benefits for Investors
The MRT setback also affects owners and landlords who have invested heavily to buy a property near an upcoming MRT station. They may face difficulties looking for tenants or buyers for their properties, especially if there’s no immediate public transport accessibility. As such, they would have to deal with a longer vacancy period for the time being.
Other FAQs Related to MRT Construction Delays
Is Caldecott MRT Station Open?
Caldecott MRT interchange station is being constructed as part of Phase 2 of the TEL. It is expected to be operational by Q3 2021.
Is Upper Thomson MRT Station Open?
Upper Thomson MRT Station is one of the six stations in Phase 2 of the TEL that will be operational in Q3 2021.
How Many Stations Are There on the Downtown Line?
The DTL currently has 34 stations, with three more stations (Xilin, Sungei Bedok, and Hume) by 2025.
Has Construction of the Cross Island Line Started?
Yes. The First Phase of the CRL is expected to be completed in 2030.
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