Expressways of Singapore

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Symbol of the Expressway network in Singapore
Clementi section of the Ayer Rajah Expressway.
The Pan Island Expressway at Toa Payoh. Lines for lane, shoulder and median, as well as lane numbers and an EMAS signboard, are all visible in the photo.
The Bukit Timah Expressway is part of the Asian Highway Network.

The expressways of Singapore are special roads that allow motorists to travel quickly from one urban area to another. All of them are dual carriageways with grade-separated access. They usually have three to four lanes in each direction, although there are two-lane carriageways at many expressway - expressway intersections and five-lane carriageways in some places. There are ten expressways, including the new Marina Coastal Expressway. Studies about the feasibility of additional expressways are ongoing.

Construction on the first expressway, the Pan Island Expressway, started in 1966. As of 2014, there are 163 km of expressways in Singapore.[1]

The Singaporean expressway networks are connected with Malaysian expressway networks via Ayer Rajah Expressway (connects with the Second Link Expressway in Malaysia) and Bukit Timah Expressway (connects with the Skudai Highway via Johor–Singapore Causeway).

History[edit]

Chronology of major events
Date Events Remarks
1964 Construction of the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) begin
1966 First phase of the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) completed. Construction of the second phase of the PIE begin. Whitley Road: Mount Pleasant Flyover - Thomson Flyover - Jalan Toa Payoh - Jalan Kolam Ayer - Paya Lebar Way
1970 Toa Payoh Flyover, Singapore's first flyover is opened to motorists Length: 1.2 kilometres
1971 Construction of the East Coast Parkway (ECP) begin.
1974 First phase of the East Coast Parkway (ECP) completed. Fort Road – Marine Parade
1975 Second phase of the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) completed. Length: 42.8 kilometres
Whitley Road (Mount Pleasant Flyover) - Jalan Anak Bukit
1976 Second phase of the East Coast Parkway (ECP) completed. Marine Parade – Bedok South Road
1980 Third phase of the East Coast Parkway (ECP) completed. Bedok South Road – Changi Airport
1980 Third phase of the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) completed. Jalan Eunos - Changi Airport
18 April 1981 Opening of the Benjamin Sheares Bridge on the East Coast Parkway (ECP) and the completion of the ECP phase 4 from Fort Road to Keppel Road ECP Length: 20 kilometres
ECP phase 4: Fort Road - Keppel Road
1981 Fourth phase of the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) completed. Jalan Anak Bukit - Jurong Road
July 1981 Construction of the Sembawang Expressway (renamed to Central Expressway) begin.
July 1981 Construction of the Central Expressway begin.
5 March 1983 Construction of the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) begin.
31 August 1983 Opening of the Central Expressway (CTE) Phase 1 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 - PIE
23 September 1983 Construction of the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) begin.
18 May 1985 Opening of the Central Expressway (CTE) Phase 1 PIE - Thomson Road
1986 Opening of the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE). Length: 10 kilometres
1 July 1986 Construction of the Central Expressway (CTE) phase 2 including Kampong Java Tunnel and Chin Swee Tunnel
30 September 1987 Opening of the Tampines Expressway (TPE) phase 1. PIE - Elias Road
1988 Opening of the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE). Length: 26.5 kilometres
2 June 1989 Opening of the Tampines Expressway (TPE) phase 1. Elias Road - Old Tampines Road
17 June 1989 Opening of the Central Expressway (CTE) phase 1 Seletar – Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1
24 March 1990 Opening of the Seletar Expressway (SLE) phase 1. Central Expressway – Upper Thomson Road
21 September 1991 Opening of the Central Expressway (CTE) phase 2 including Kampong Java Tunnel and Chin Swee Tunnel Length: 15.8 kilometres
31 October 1991 Construction of the Kranji Expressway (KJE) begin.
5 December 1993 Opening of the Pan Island Expressway (PIE). Jurong Road - Upper Jurong Road
1994 Opening of the Kranji Expressway (KJE). Length: 8 kilometres
5 November 1995 Opening of the Seletar Expressway (SLE) phase 2. Bukit Timah Expressway – Woodlands Avenue 2
3 September 1996 Opening of the Tampines Expressway (TPE) phase 2. Old Tampines Road - SLE
22 February 1998 Opening of the Seletar Expressway (SLE) phase 2. Length: 10.8 kilometres
Woodlands Avenue 2 - Upper Thomson Road

Mr John Chen Seow Phun, Minister of State for Communications

22 August 1998 Opening of the Tampines Expressway viaduct connecting PIE and TPE
September 1998 The Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) systems is implemented at all expressways.
2001 Construction of the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway begins.
2004 The SOS telephones were removed on all expressways except for tunnels.
23 June 2007 Opening of the Tampines Service Road, currently part of the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE)
28 October 2007 Opening of the Kallang–Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE), the longest subterranean road tunnel in Southeast Asia ECP - PIE
March 2008 Construction of the Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE) begins.
20 September 2008 Official opening of the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
PIE - TPE
29 December 2013 Opening of the Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE), Singapore's first undersea expressway. Length: 5 kilometres

Expansion[edit]

The latest expressway completed is the Marina Coastal Expressway which runs for 5 km, 3.5 km of which are underground. Construction started in 2008 and ended in late 2013. It was opened to the public on 29 December 2013. Prior to construction of the Marina Coastal Expressway, the Kallang–Paya Lebar Expressway which runs for 12 km, 9 km of which are 10 m underground, was started in 2001 and a 3 km section linking the Pan Island Expressway and East Coast Parkway was opened in late 2007. The Kallang–Paya Lebar Expressway was completed on 20 September 2008.

On 27 July 2007, the Land Transport Authority announced that approval had been given for the construction of a new 5 km long Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE) at a cost of $2.5 billion.[2] The expressway, which includes Singapore's first undersea tunnel, links the East Coast Parkway and Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway to Marina South and Ayer Rajah Expressway and opened to traffic 29 December 2013.[3][4]

Construction of the 11th expressway, the North–South Expressway, was announced on 30 January 2008. The new 21-kilometre expressway will cost about $7 to $8 billion when fully completed by 2020 and connect the East Coast Parkway with the northern parts of Singapore.

Features[edit]

There are no traffic lights on the expressways. At an interchange with another road, an expressway is connected to it via slip roads. This allows traffic to change routes without having to stop or slow down. Due to the need to conserve space in land-scarce Singapore, there are no cloverleaf interchanges on the entire island. Instead, traffic efficiency and land space are maximized by having traffic lights on terrestrial roads, as well as the usage of interchanges such as stack interchanges. The most common forms of highway-road or highway-highway intersections are single-point urban, diamond, and trumpet interchanges.

The road surface is asphalt, unlike normal roads which may have concrete surfaces. The lanes are separated with white dashed lines, while unbroken white lines are used to mark the edges of the median and shoulder. The shoulder is reserved for stops due to breakdowns and emergencies, and motorists are prohibited by law from travelling on it. Lanes are numbered from right to left, with lane 1 being the closest to the median. Crash barriers, cat's eyes and rumble strips are also used to ensure road safety.

There are signs marking the start and end of an expressway at its entry and exit points respectively. The Expressway Monitoring and Advisory System is used on all the expressways—cameras are used for live monitoring of expressway conditions, and LED signboards display information messages, such as warnings of any disruptions to the normal flow of traffic, as well as estimated travel times. The longest expressway, the Pan Island Expressway, is only 41 km (25 mi) long and therefore have no rest areas.

List of Asian Highway Networks:

  • AH143 running from Tuas, via AYE, MCE, KPE all the way to Buangkok East Drive
  • AH230 running from Woodlands, via BKE, PIE all the way to Tampines

Safety[edit]

The default speed limit and National Speed Limits on Singapore expressways is 90 km/h (56 mph), but in certain areas a lower speed limit such as 80 km/h (50 mph) or 70 km/h (43 mph) is applied, especially in large urban areas, tunnels, heavy traffic and crosswinds. Speed traps are also deployed by the Singapore police at many places along the expressways.

Certain types of transport, such as pedestrians, bicycles, and learner drivers, are not allowed.

Semi-expressways[edit]

In Singapore, there are three semi-expressways: Nicoll Highway, the Outer Ring Road System (ORRS) and West Coast Highway. These semi-expressways are scaled down versions of expressways. Semi-expressways do not have a uniform speed limit through its entire length, and some sections still feature traffic light controlled junctions, such as the eastern section of the ORRS and the controlled roundabout along the West Coast Highway. Still, just like expressways, semi-expressways allow motorists to travel quickly from one urban area to another with the use of viaducts, flyovers and underpasses.

Diagram[edit]

A map showing the expressways and semi-expressways of Singapore. The Marina Coastal Expressway was opened at the end of 2013, while the North-South Expressway is under planning.

See also[edit]

References[edit]