Nicoll Highway

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Nicoll Highway
Lebuhraya Nicoll (Malay)
尼诰大道 (Chinese)
நிகோல் நெடுஞ்சாலை (Tamil)
Nicoll Highway is labelled in double pink line
Route information
Major junctions
West endEsplanade
East endKPE
Highway system
Nicoll Highway, towards the central business district

Nicoll Highway (Chinese: 尼诰大道; Malay: Lebuhraya Nicoll; Tamil: நிகோல் நெடுஞ்சாலை) is a major arterial road in Singapore which links the junctions of Guillemard Road, Sims Way and Mountbatten Road in Kallang to the junctions of Esplanade Drive, Raffles Avenue and Stamford Road in the city. En route, it passes through the areas of Kallang, Kampong Glam and Marina Centre.

Despite what its name may suggest, the speed limit on the highway is less than that of an expressway. The highway also has traffic light junctions at some of its intersections with roads such as Bras Basah Road and Esplanade Drive, which are not found in expressways.



The road was named after Sir John Fearns Nicoll, governor of the Colony of Singapore in the early 1950s, who played a major role in ensuring its construction.[1]


The road was first planned by the Singapore Improvement Trust in the late 1940s to relieve the heavy rush-hour traffic along Kallang Road and provide an alternative route from the city area to Katong and Changi.[2] These plans were finalised in July 1953,[3] with work on the first section of the road, a bridge across the Kallang and Rochor rivers, commencing construction in early 1954.[4] Costing a total of $12 million, Nicoll Highway was opened by then-Chief Minister Lim Yew Hock on 17 August 1956.[5] With the road's opening, traffic conditions were greatly improved, and travel times to the city area cut by 25 to 35 minutes.[6]

By the 1960s, the then four-lane Nicoll Highway was found to be insufficient to carry rush-hour traffic. Consequently, an additional carriageway was added in 1965. This carriageway was used for city-bound traffic during the morning peak hours and for traffic in the opposite direction during the afternoon peak.[7] It was claimed by the Straits Times that traffic congestion was significantly reduced after the opening of the reversible carriageway.[8]

Nicoll Highway collapse[edit]

At approximately 3:30 p.m. Singapore Time (UTC+8:00) on 20 April 2004, a section of Nicoll Highway between Ophir Road and Merdeka Bridge collapsed, due to the failure of the retaining wall of the Circle line tunnel below it. This section of the road had to be closed for several months for repairs. All bus services going through that sector of Nicoll Highway had to be redirected. The road was re-opened in December later that year.


Some landmarks that can be seen along the road are:

Interchange along Nicoll Highway[edit]

Interchange with1 Type Remarks Name of interchange
KPE, Sims Way, Guillemard Road and Mountbatten Road Box Start of Nicoll Highway leading westbound; end of Nicoll Highway leading eastbound
Stadium Road and links from Stadium Drive 3-way
Stadium Road Flyover Merdeka Bridge
Crawford Street and Republic Avenue Flyover Merdeka Bridge
Java Road 3-way There is also a 3-way link from Republic Avenue
Ophir Road Flyover Ophir Road travels southbound only Ophir Flyover
Rochor Road Flyover Rochor Road travels northbound only Rochor Flyover
Middle Road 3-way
Raffles Boulevard and Bras Basah Road Box Raffles Boulevard and Bras Basah Road travels eastbound only
Raffles Avenue, Esplanade Drive and Stamford Road Box Raffles Avenue and Stamford Road travels westbound only; Start of Nicoll Highway going eastbound; end of Nicoll Highway going westbound

^Note 1 : Road names are ordered in the clockwise fashion starting from the top.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nicoll built the road". The Straits Times. Singapore. 30 June 1956. p. 5. Retrieved 18 December 2019 – via NewspaperSG.
  2. ^ Cornelius, Tessie (29 June 1947). "New multi-million dollar highway for S'pore". Sunday Tribune. Singapore. p. 1. Retrieved 17 December 2019 – via NewspaperSG.
  3. ^ "Council's $11,000,000 plan will ease bottleneck". The Straits Times. Singapore. 11 July 1953. p. 7. Retrieved 18 December 2019 – via
  4. ^ "$7 million bridge to be started next year". The Straits Times. Singapore. 23 October 1953. p. 1. Retrieved 18 December 2019 – via NewspaperSG.
  5. ^ Hall, Nan (18 August 1956). "Tens of thousands turned out to cheer". The Straits Times. Singapore. Retrieved 18 December 2019 – via NewspaperSG.
  6. ^ "'Bottleneck daze' thing of the past". The Straits Times. Singapore. 19 August 1956. p. 5. Retrieved 18 December 2019 – via NewspaperSG.
  7. ^ "Improving traffic system from east Singapore". The Straits Times. Singapore. 27 May 1965. p. 8. Retrieved 18 December 2019 – via NewspaperSG.
  8. ^ "Traffic on Nicoll Highway is smooth now". The Straits Times. Singapore. 8 August 1967. p. 22. Retrieved 20 March 2019 – via NewspaperSG.

External links[edit]