First section of Lornie Highway opens
Motorists hope it will ease traffic on Lornie Road
After repeated delays stretching more than two years, the first section of the Lornie Highway - previously known as Bukit Brown Road - was finally opened to traffic yesterday.
The southbound section of the road, which runs parallel to Lornie Road, facilitates traffic flow from Thomson towards the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) as well as Adam and Farrer roads.
An underpass near the entrance of the highway allows motorists to access the residential area in Lornie Road, while a temporary road connection near Sime Road has been built to connect traffic from the existing southbound Lornie Road to the southbound Lornie Highway.
A drive by The Straits Times yesterday on both Lornie Road and the new Lornie Highway found traffic to be smooth.
Residents and motorists hope the new highway will ease traffic on Lornie Road, which can slow to a crawl during peak hours.
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Grab driver Edwin Lim, 42, said the stretch from Toa Payoh to Lornie Road, then Farrer Road and Ayer Rajah, is usually slow-moving.
"With the new highway, I think it is likely to save five minutes of travelling time and ease congestion a little," he added.
The Land Transport Authority earlier this month advised motorists heading towards the PIE, Adam Road and Farrer Road to use the new highway.
The existing southbound four-lane Lornie Road will be reduced to two lanes.
Traffic on the MacRitchie Viaduct flows directly onto the new highway. Southbound motorists using Lornie Road will have to access it via surface roads.
The northbound Lornie Highway will be completed in phases.
When the stretch fully opens by the first quarter of early next year, a new underpass at the Sime Road junction will remove the need for the existing signalised junction there.
Lornie Highway is meant to cater to growth in future traffic demand arising from redevelopment of the Bukit Brown area. Traffic is expected to rise by 20 per cent to 30 per cent by 2020.
The road project, announced in 2011, was at first slated to be completed by mid-2016, then by end-2017, and then in two phases from the third quarter of this year.
When it was announced, it caused protests from nature and heritage groups as it cut across a forested area and the Bukit Brown cemetery, where many of Singapore's pioneers were buried. More than 3,000 graves in the area have been exhumed.