Woodlands Checkpoint expansion work to start in 2025, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Woodlands Checkpoint expansion work to start in 2025

Work to expand the Woodlands Checkpoint to five times its current size will begin in 2025, and the first phase comprising an extension at the Old Woodlands Town Centre and Bukit Timah Expressway is targeted to be completed progressively from 2028.

Afterwards, the Old Woodlands Checkpoint will be demolished and integrated with the extension, which is expected to be fully operational by 2032, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said on Jan 29.

ICA said it plans to redevelop the Woodlands Checkpoint in several phases over the next 10 to 15 years, including through land reclamation which will be done by JTC Corporation, the government agency overseeing Singapore’s industrial spaces.

The expansion work will not disrupt operations at the checkpoint.

After conducting feasibility and technical studies to determine the amount of land needed to meet future needs, ICA said it assessed that the land needs for the redevelopment “can only be met through land acquisition and land reclamation”.

Responding to questions from The Straits Times, an ICA spokesman said the planned area of the redeveloped checkpoint, including the existing facility, is about 95ha, which is a little more than double the size of the Marina South precinct.

Reclamation work is tentatively scheduled to start in Q3 2024 and is estimated to be completed by 2029.

ICA said the work will start after the reclamation plans are finalised and after considering feedback on an environmental impact assessment report.

Woodlands Checkpoint, once fully redeveloped, aims to reduce average clearance time from the current 60 minutes to 15 minutes during peak periods across all vehicle types, including cargo vehicles, motorcycles and buses.

ICA said it aims to incorporate more automation, such as automated in-car immigration clearance systems, and provide holding areas for vehicles within the checkpoint to lower congestion on the roads and the BKE leading to the checkpoint.

It also plans to carry out security checks away from the checkpoint to mitigate security risks.

Under the first phase of the redevelopment, an extension at the Old Woodlands Town Centre will be built.

It will have 21 cargo lanes going in both directions and 78 arrival car lanes, which will increase cargo clearance capacity by 30 per cent and arrival car clearance capacity by 95 per cent, ICA said.

The arrival car lanes can also be converted into 156 arrival motorcycle lanes, which allows ICA flexibility to manage traffic during peak periods.

As part of an extension to the BKE, a direct route into the expressway will be created for vehicles exiting the checkpoint, to ease traffic congestion on the roads during peak hours, it added. The surrounding road networks will also be upgraded to improve overall traffic flow.

ICA said the BKE extension will be aligned with the eastern edge of Marsiling Park, to minimise the impact on a sensitive ecological site in the western side of the park.

To reduce noise to residential areas near the construction sites, noise barriers will be built, the authority said. Traffic signs will also be put up to guide road users as some road networks will be affected.

The subsequent phases of redevelopment include building clearance facilities on both acquired and reclaimed land, and retrofitting the current Woodlands Checkpoint.