SINGAPORE: Three MRT stations along the East West Line - Clementi, Commonwealth and Queenstown - will get upgrades to improve accessibility and connectivity by the middle of next year, with other updates also slated at some other stations, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Thursday (July 31).
When completed, the extensions - which will cost S$11.7 million - will double the capacity of the three MRT stations.
At Clementi station, two sheltered link bridges will connect the road on either side of the station to an extended station concourse. The new entrances achieved basic structural completion last month, and lift and escalator installation at the link bridges will begin over the coming months, the LTA said.
As the station is located in the heart of the neighbourhood, surrounded by several malls and a bus interchange, it can get crowded, especially during peak hours.
"Usually, if two trains arrive at the same time, the station will be so crowded. It would be better if there was another path," said Ainon Ibrahim, a commuter and laundry operator.
Daisy Ling, an adviser at a university, echoed Ms Ibrahim's sentiments. "If you have more openings, people can make use of them rather than crowd in one place."
A wall of the existing station will also be torn down, and a defunct lift retrofitted to serve passengers. Construction started last year, and one challenge is to ensure commuters are not inconvenienced.
"You can see that we are very close to the existing MRT structure, so whatever we do to carry out the addition and alteration work, we have to ensure that the integrity of the existing structure is not compromised. So we also have to identify those existing services that we touch, to ensure that we do not disrupt the services. And those safety critical activities, we have to carry out during the non-revenue hours, from 1.30am to 4.30am," said Saifulbahri Rasno, Deputy Director of Infrastructure Enhancement at the LTA.
Meanwhile, new trains for the North-South and East-West Lines have been arriving since early this year. Three trains are already in operation, and another three will be added by September.
Structural works at Commonwealth and piling works at Queenstown are also in progress to ease commuter congestion, it added. The upgrading work for these three stations started in 2012, and will be completed by the middle of 2015.
In the pipeline are the installation of a lift at Tanah Merah (towards Changi) and a drop-off bay with a high covered roof at Pasir Ris and Bishan MRT stations. - CNA/es/by
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