The Covid-19 outbreak has led to many delays, cancellations and postponed events.
The opening of Stage 2 of the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) is the latest to be affected by it, as its completion has been pushed back to 2021.
According to Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung, the completion of the six stations in the second stage of the TEL will be delayed by three more months.
This is quite a bummer, as most of us have probably been looking forward to more time-efficient travelling with this new MRT line.
Well, on the bright side, the delay is only for three months and we all know how fast this entire year has gone by so far.
We should be in 2021 in no time.
Meanwhile, here’s everything you need to know about the delay:
Stage 2 of Thomson-East Coast Line To Be Delayed By 3 Months
The 6 new stations on the TEL, from Springleaf to Caldecott, were initially supposed to be open by the end of this year.
However, due to most construction work being suspended during the Circuit Breaker period, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has pushed behind the opening of Stage 2 of the TEL to next year.
Mr Ong wrote an answer to parliamentary questions by the Workers’ Party Member of Parliament (MP) Jamus Lim, where he said that the new stage would be open in the first quarter of 2021.
Dr Lim had also asked if this would result in any spillover delays to other major planned MRT projects.
To which Mr Ong responded saying, “Unlike the TEL2 which is near completion and prioritised for resumption of work, we will only be able to better assess the length of delays on subsequent phases of TEL and other MRT projects when construction activities have more fully resumed.”
He also said that the government will still remain committed to significantly expanding the MRT network, from around 230km today to 360km by the early 2030s.
This includes opening the rest of the Thomson-East Coast Line, completing the circle with Circle Line Stage 6, building the North East Line Extension, Jurong Region Line and Cross Island Line.
TEL Expected To Be Completed By 2024
The first stage of the TEL, which is made up of Woodlands North, Woodlands, and Woodlands South MRT stations, started taking passengers on 31 January this year.
In January, the LTA also said that the second stage was about 90% completed, and that it was supposed to open sometime after July.
The testing for these 6 stations has been ongoing since April, but works were progressing at a slower pace because of constraints on worker availability.
The line comprises 32 MRT stations, including eight interchange stations. Two of these interchange stations, Caldecott and Bright Hill, are located on the second phase of the line.
Once the second stage opens in 2021, about 100,000 households will benefit from the first two stages as they will be within walking distance from one of the nine stations, and they can also enjoy shorter travelling times.
The TEL is expected to be fully completed by 2024, and it will span 43km and serve about 500,000 commuters daily in its initial years.