Quicker KPE access

As published in The Straits Times
23 Mar 09 (Monday)

By Yeo Ghim Lay

Buangkok East Drive welcomed its first vehicles at 5pm yesterday. The 1.32km-long new link - including this 200m vehicular bridge over the Serangoon River - connects Buangkok Drive to the KPE. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND LIM

City-bound motorists from Sengkang, Punggol and Hougang can save up to 7 mins

GETTING on the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) during the morning rush hour will be a zippier affair for residents of Sengkang, Punggol and Hougang, with a new road link opening on Sunday.

The 1.32km-long Buangkok East Drive in Sengkang connects Buangkok Drive to the KPE, and shaves up to seven minutes off the city-bound trip for them.

The road, which includes a 200m vehicular bridge over the Serangoon River, is a shorter route to the expressway than the current one, which requires motorists to take a stretch of the Tampines Expressway (TPE).

Buangkok East Drive welcomed its first vehicles at 5pm yesterday, after Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, declared it open in front of 1,000 residents.

Its opening will result in two welcome outcomes: One is that it will improve traffic flow on the TPE during peak hours and ease the congestion for TPE users from Punggol and Pasir Ris.

The other is that it will encourage motorists to make fuller use of the KPE, which is still operating at under capacity since its opening six months ago.

It can take 6,000 vehicles per hour on each carriageway, but only 2,900 city-bound vehicles are on it during the morning peak hour now, even though this number is already an increase from 2,600 last November.

More vehicles use the east-bound KPE in the evening peak hour - 4,000 - but even this is only two-thirds of the expressway's capacity. This figure is also an increase from last November, when it was only 2,300.

The Land Transport Authority's group director of road projects, Mr Yap Cheng Chwee, said he expected Buangkok East Drive to be 'very well used' during peak hours.

Punggol resident Sonny Tan, 53, who works in Alexandra Road, will get on it this morning. 'The journey to work will be much faster now, and I should be able to save more than a couple of minutes,' said the financial service consultant, who used to take the TPE to reach the KPE.


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