23 January 2009

Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE) budget exceeded

The $2.5 billion budget to build the MCE has been exceeded because of higher construction and material costs, explained Transport Minister Raymond Lim in Parliament.
Artists Impression of Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE) on the LTA website

Another reason is that soil at certain stretches is weaker than expected. So more robust and deeper temporary structures have to be used and additional works done to improve the soil.

An earlier report suggested "some issues in awarding the tender due to a wide gap in tender bids" for this project.

Higher prices drive Marina expressway costs up
Straits Times 23 Jan 09;

THE $2.5 billion budget to build the Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE) has been exceeded because of higher construction and material costs.

Transport Minister Raymond Lim explained this in response to Madam Ho Geok Choo (West Coast GRC), who asked why the 5km expressway was costing more than expected.

Mr Lim said the budget for the MCE - which will link the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway and the Ayer Rajah Expressway - was approved based on preliminary engineering and construction prices in 2006.

Since then, material and resource costs have risen significantly.

Another reason is that soil at certain stretches is weaker than expected. So more robust and deeper temporary structures have to be used and additional works done to improve the soil.

Agencies like the Building and Construction Authority also called for tighter specifications for temporary works such as earth retaining systems, while the Singapore Civil Defence Force wants compliance with the latest international fire safety standards.

Mr Ong Kian Min (Tampines GRC) asked if the ministry looked at other possibilities before deciding to build 'underground and under water'. Mr Lim said his ministry considered other possibilities but found them unsuitable:

'I'd like to assure the House that when it comes to infrastructure projects such as the MCE, the Government takes a stringent financial approach and transport agencies would evaluate the cost and match that against the benefits of the particular infrastructure project.'

The benefit of the MCE, slated for completion in 2013, is to support increased traffic volume when the Marina Bay area is developed.

MARIA ALMENOAR


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Reclamation for the Marina Coastal Expressway

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