Communities are now closer to key areas in Singapore’s Downtown Core, medical, heritage and tourism precincts such as Shenton Way, Singapore General Hospital, and Chinatown, with the opening of Phase 3 of the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL3).
Arup, in conjunction with Aedas, led the design and engineering of six stations located in the densely built-up city centre that cuts across significant geological variations from one station to another. This tested and pushed the boundaries of innovation and engineering design of the stations and tunnels.
With Outram Park and Marina Bay stations as three-line interchanges, TEL3 is also providing more connections and alternative travel routes, helping the city to enhance its rail resilience.
The launch of TEL3 continues from our multiple award-winning engineering and design work on Phase 1 of Thomson-East Coast Line, and on our ongoing work on the eastern section of the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) and the Cross Island Line that more MRT commuters will benefit from.
2 x 3 lines interchange stations
1st'ground-freezing' design in Singapore
1.8mclosest distance of a bored tunnel to a ‘live’ MRT tunnel
With focus on the user and communities, the stations we designed along TEL3 are enhancing connectivity for people getting to places downtown, including the 43-hectares Singapore General Hospital (SGH) campus, which is set to be Singapore’s largest medical hub, the CBD and financial district along Maxwell Road and Shenton Way, through to the future extended CBD at Marina Bay and iconic tourist destination Gardens by the Bay.
Integrating each precinct that it serves with more underground pedestrian linkways, TEL3 is transformative at its core. Community spaces are more interconnected, adding vibrancy and commercial opportunity not only within but also around the areas the line serves.
We also emphasised sustainability, innovation, cost-effectiveness and social safety, with minimal disruption to ground-level services and structures. This included using the stacked station technique at Maxwell and Shenton Way stations. The technique splits the platforms across two levels to help maximise accessibility and safety, as well as allow for a narrower station plan that minimises surface-level footprint. We also took steps to protect the glass façade of Asia Square Tower 2, a commercial and retail building at Shenton Way, ensuring safety for the people using the space every day.
A marvel of modern engineering
The walls of the stations conceal stories of seemingly impossible engineering feats. Using the pedestrian linkway at Outram Park to the SGH Campus, little would passengers know that the East-West Line (EWL), North-East Line and TEL was achieved by mining beneath Outram Road, and under the existing EWL station. The closest of which was a mere 1.8m to the EWL tunnel.
In the lower tunnel of Marina Bay, Arup also proposed the first ground freezing solution in Singapore that Taisei Corporation developed in detail. Freezing the water-logged soil would treat its permeability and stabilise the earth, allowing for safe mining works.
Images © Darren Soh.