The East Coast Parkway (ECP) Expressway
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The East Coast Parkway (ECP) Expressway connects the Ayer Rajah Expressway at Shenton Way in the Central Business District to the Changi Airport in the east. It also connects the Marine Parade Housing Estate to the city and the airport. The expressway was constructed in 1981 by the Public Works Department over reclaimed land.
In 1971, the government embarked on building an extensive network of highways with the release of the Singapore Concept Plan. According to this Concept Plan, new high-density satellite towns were to be built around the central water catchment area, and each of the towns were to be linked via a system of island-wide expressways. Construction of roads according to the Concept Plan began in the early 1970s and by 1989, five expressways were laid out with Pan Island Expressway being the first to be built. The five expressways were the initial 35 km stretch of Pan-Island Expressway (PIE), the 19 km East Coast Parkway (ECP), 11 km Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE), 14 km Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) and the 16 km Central Expressway (CTE). The eight-lane East Coast Parkway (ECP) Expressway was built in 1981 by the Public Works Department over reclaimed land.
"The Great East Coast Reclamation" was finally completed in 1985 after 22 years of reclamation work. Around 1,525 ha of land was reclaimed for recreation and housing purposes at a cost of S$613 million. The Marine Parade housing estate was built on this reclaimed land in the late 1960s and was completed in mid-1970s. The construction of the Marine Parade Town Centre was completed in 1975.
The construction of the Tanjong Rhu Flyover, where the ECP forms a junction with Fort Road, began in 1988 and was completed in 1990. The Public Works Department awarded the contract for this job to Sato Kogyo - Sum Cheong Piling, a Japanese-Singaporean joint venture, for S$18.88 million. This six-lane carriageway flyover was officially opened on the 24 February 1990 by S. Dhanabalan, Minister for National Development.
At the junction of Shenton Way and Rambau Street, Ayer Rajah Expressway becomes East Coast Parkway and proceeds all the way to the east to connect the Central Business District to the Airport. From Shenton Way, it passes over the Marina Bay MRT Station. The MRT station was built underground by the deep cut-and-cover method in the late 1980s. The contract for the construction of this work was awarded in April 1986 to a joint venture Gammon-Antara Koh for S$96,000,000. After a scenic view of the Marina City Park along which the expressway cruises by, it crosses over the sea and the Marina Promenade. It then crosses over the Kallang Basin as the Benjamin Sheares Bridge and moves into the Tanjong Rhu area. The Benjamin Sheares Bridge, the longest bridge in Singapore at 1,855 m was built in 1981. The pre-cast concrete bridge was designed by the Public Works Department with Satyo Kogyo as turn-key partners and Chan Chee Wah Maunsell & Partners as construction partners.
It is from the Tanjong Rhu area that the ECP runs adjoining the East Coast Park, the largest and most popular park of Singapore. Stretching over 20 km, the park offers facilities such as large open spaces, fitness equipment, barbecue pits, a 12 km cycle track, a 15 km jogging track, bicycle and skates rental kiosks, a 7.5 km sandy beach, refreshment kiosks, restrooms, restaurants, a hawker centre, water sports centre, tennis courts, ponds, reflexology footpaths, bowling alleys, holiday chalets and camp sites.
A popular landmark in the vicinity of the expressway here is the Singapore Swimming Club along Tanjong Rhu Road, established in the 1890s by a group of European men. At the Tanjong Rhu Flyover, the ECP forms a junction with Fort Road and at the Marine Parade Flyover it connects to Still Road. All through this stretch of the expressway between these two flyovers, the road is lined with condominiums on one side stretching from the Katong Park along Fort Road and Meyer Road to Parkway Parade. The East Coast Road runs parallel to the East Coast Park Service Road through most part of its stretch.Buildings or landscape opposite the East Coast Park include the Victoria Junior College along Marine Parade Road, private and HDB housing units, and S$250-million Laguna National Golf Course. Victoria Junior College along Marine Parade Road was built in 1984 and was designed by architects Edwin Choo & Partners.
At the Laguna Flyover, the East Coast Parkway connects to Bedok South Avenue 1 and at the Tanah Merah Flyover it connects to Xilin Avenue, East Coast Park Service Road and Changi Coast Road. The expressway ends near the Changi Flyover where it becomes the Airport Boulevard. At this flyover, the ECP also makes a junction with the Pan Island Expressway (PIE).
Naidu Ratnala Thulaja
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