Braddell Flyover finally open after more than 4 years and 3 busted deadlines

SINGAPORE – The Braddell Flyover officially opened on Sunday morning – more than four years and two delays after construction first started.

Motorists who frequent the route hope that the new flyover will ease the traffic along Braddell Road, which can slow to a crawl during the peak hours.

“During the morning and evening especially, everything moves slowly,” said show provider Albert Mei, 63, who travels from Toa Payoh in the direction of Bartley several times a week. “The traffic can be very heavy, but with the flyover it should be better.”

Mr Bernard Soh, 37, said the flyover could help to ease the congestion, although he is adopting a wait and see attitude to see if it does help. What caused congestion previously was the multiple points of entry leading to the same road, he said.

With the flyover, those coming from the direction of Toa Payoh Lorong 6 can connect directly to Upper Serangoon Road and Bartley Road via the Braddell Underpass. Previously, they would have had to join traffic bound for the Central Expressway (CTE) or Bishan Street 11 on Braddell Road.

However, he noted that the new flyover meant roads were drawing nearer and nearer to the flats. His own flat is located right above the new flyover. “I stay on a low floor and I’ll expect more noise.  It may be harder to sell the unit now.”

“Right now, everybody must queue along Braddell Road, which is always very crowded,” said 65-year-old consultant Abdul Halim Mohamad Amin. “Fewer cars will help to lessen the jam.”

However, crane operator Lee Tian Min, who takes the road at least thrice a week, said: “It will take a while for me to get used to this new arrangement.”

Mr Lee, who lives in Bishan, added: “There are also still a lot of cars trying to enter the CTE, so the jams tend to build up there as well.”

Toa Payoh Lor 8 resident of more than 20 years, Mr Goh K L, 70, said of the new Braddell flyover: “It’s very good, there’ll be smoother traffic now. In the past, from here to the entrance of the CTE, it’ll take at least 10 minutes. But now with the flyover, I think it’ll take just about three minutes.”

Logistics supervisor Yazid Yusof, 50, said the flyover might be able to ease congestion, although he will wait to see if it helps the weekday evening peak hour traffic.

However, he said the construction of the flyover may help motorists, but inconveniences pedestrians.

Previously, it took just about five minutes to walk from his flat at Toa Payoh Lorong 8 to Bishan, as he could simply cross the overhead bridge and cut through a block of flats.

But the bridge had to be expanded with the construction of the flyover, with more turns along the way. Now Mr Yusof estimates that it will be a 15min walk to Bishan.

Construction on the flyover was initially started by Hexagroup, which was awarded the contract in late 2012. However, work stalled two years later when the company got into financial difficulties. The Land Transport Authority then appointed Feng Ming Construction to complete the work. Originally supposed to be completed by end-2015, the deadline was pushed back to end-2016.

However, the company busted the deadline, citing difficult conditions, and further delays were caused when it was issued a stop-work order after a spot check in February revealed safety lapses.

On the delay of its construction, Mr Goh, an engineer, said: “No choice we just had to wait. We just had to endure the disturbances, but at least now its open.”

Signs warn motorists to give way to vehicles from the flyover. ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN

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