New underpass to link future developments in Hillview estate

Underpass is first road to go under Rail Corridor, will have 'green roof' along entire stretch

A new underpass that goes under the Rail Corridor will link residential and future developments in Hillview estate - including the massive NS Hub - to an expanded Dairy Farm Road.

The underpass is part of a new road that links Hillview Rise to Dairy Farm Road, a major two-lane dual carriageway that will have a third lane added to each side.

When The Straits Times visited on Monday, earth-retaining walls were being installed along a stretch of Dairy Farm Road flanking a part of the Wallace Trail - a walking trail.

About 200m long, the underpass is the first road to go under the Rail Corridor - a green nature trail reclaimed from the disused KTM train tracks linking Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said the underpass - which will have two lanes leading to Dairy Farm Road, and three lanes on the other side - will be constructed using the cut-and-cover method of excavation. The part that goes under the Rail Corridor will be reinstated "in the form of a green roof that will extend along the length of road" when works are completed.

The road link is part of a $75 million project to improve connectivity in the largely residential area in Upper Bukit Timah, announced by Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Low Yen Ling in a recent neighbourhood newsletter. It includes pedestrian walkways, ramps and bridges that join the estate to the Rail Corridor, Dairy Farm Nature Park, Rail Mall and MRT stations.

The 9ha NS Hub - a one-stop venue for national servicemen with fitness, lifestyle and food and beverage facilities - will also be connected.

Hwa Seng Builder has been appointed as the contractor for the works, and completion is slated for end-2024.

Ms Low told The Straits Times the project is "designed to refresh the area with better road and pedestrian connections".

Madam Khor Choon Lang, 80, a long-time resident of Elizabeth Drive, off Hillview Avenue, said she was glad to hear about the new connections, as well as plans for an observation deck.

"I've been living here since 1986, and I have known this area since I was a schoolgirl," said the former teacher and avid walker.

"There were streams with fishes, and there was quite a view. Now, everything's all covered and cemented. And with so many more condos, the view is blocked."

Mr Oo Gin Lee, 52, a public relations consultant and resident in The Hillside condominium nearby, said: "There are a lot of condos here, and people getting in and out currently have limited options. Building the new road link that joins Dairy Farm Road directly is a welcome move."