Singapore’s LTA has celebrated the start of the 50 km long construction of the fully underground Cross Island Line (CRL) Phase 1 with a ground-breaking ceremony officiated by the Minister of Transport, S Iswaran, at the site of the forthcoming CRL Bright Hill station.
CRL Phase 1 extends over 29km and includes 12 stations from Aviation Park to Bright Hill. CRL Phase 1 will be connected to North-East Line at Hougang station, North-South Line at Ang Mo Kio station, East-West Line at Pasir Ris station, and Thomson-East Coast Line at Bright Hill station. Land Transport Authority (LTA) is gradually requesting tenders for CRL Phase 2, which includes six stations from Turf City to Jurong Lake District, while engineering studies are continuing for the third phase. The construction for CRL Phase 1 is envisioned to be complete in 2030.
Diverse technologies have been used to improve safety and construction efficiency at CRL. These contain Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality tools’ usage to boost capabilities and ease coordination. In addition, productivity is increased via platforms such as computer simulations of various operating scenarios at the Changi East Depot.
The 2.6m large-diameter TBMs will be employed to build different stretches of tunnels between the CRL stations like Aviation Park station and Loyang station. The TBMs will have to excavate only through the ground once eventually housed in it for building the tunnel with two tracks. The tunnel boring machine is said to be the most extensive machine used on an LTA rail project, and it is anticipated to improve work productivity and decrease manpower requirements.
A rectangular tunnel boring machine will be deployed at the CRL’s Teck Ghee station for constructing the underground linkways. As reported, LTA will adopt the trenchless method to enhance overall construction productivity and safety, where operational parameters during tunneling are supervised to minimize surface settlement. Moreover, the Land Transport Authority will investigate further innovative construction methods at the CRL to boost overall construction productivity and safety.
Once fully finished, the City Rail Link will be Singapore’s eighth and most extended fully-underground MRT line. It will help the current and future developments in the eastern, western, and north-eastern corridors, connecting significant hubs such as the Jurong Lake District, Punggol Digital District and Changi. The projected daily ridership of the complete CRL is over 600,000 in the initial years from 2030, advancing to more than 1 million in the longer term.