Revisiting The Reserve Residences when King Albert Park MRT first built
We published insight recently about King Albert Park MRT becoming an interchange station once the Cross Island Line Phase 2 is completed by 2032.
We also shared many new launch properties close to the station, as it is near the Rail Corridor. One of them is The Reserve Residences near Beauty World MRT.
In the heart of Singapore’s prime Bukit Timah location, the Reserve Residences will become a landmark development. It is one of the first projects of its kind in the land-scarce area especially near MRT and be sure to be updated with Reserve Residences remaining units.
The upcoming underground construction will affect the freehold condo Casa Esperanza in Bukit Timah, as well as 18 parking spaces that will need to relocate.
Local residents have been affected by MRT constructions at King Albert Park MRT sites in the past.
Many Maplewoods residents were very upset when plans were shared for the Downtown Line Stage 2 station in June 2011.
How can you be upset? Very.
Why were Maplewoods residents so angry?
Maplewoods condo was completed in 1997. It is located approximately 169m away (roughly a 3 minute walk) from King Albert Park Metro Station.
After the news of the Downtown Line Stage 2 station plan in 2011, 65% Maplewoods residents signed an petition to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong requesting that the King Albert Park station’s launch tower be relocated.
What is a launch shaft, exactly?
Launch shafts are 25-metre square holes that allow for the drilling of underground tunnels. They can be found between two MRT stations. The shaft was located in front of Maplewoods Condo residents, which linked to Bukit Timah Road.
At a press conference, a Maplewoods resident stated that 50,000 dump-truck trips would be required to remove all tunnelling debris during construction of the launch shaft.
Trucks removing debris from the launch shaft at condo’s only entrance would create traffic congestion and pose a danger to pedestrians and drivers.
Residents suggested that the site be moved closer to Sixth Avenue. However, LTA stated that it was impossible due to limitations in construction.The petition requested that the Land Transport Authority (LTA), share the station’s risk assessment survey with residents.
Children walking to Maplewoods condo from Methodist Girls’ School (MGS), had to use a narrow footpath that was surrounded by busy construction sites and heavy traffic on Bukit Tamah Road.
Construction at the launch shaft was stopped on June 6, 2011 because of this serious issue. LTA and Alpine-Bau GmbH, the main contractor, met with Maplewoods’ MCST. On 7 June, Holland-Bukit Timah MP Christopher de Souza met with residents to discuss their concerns.
It suffices to say that the meeting was heated.
Following the meetings, de Souza & LTA suggested various solutions, including building a gate at MGS’s condo, creating a footpath of 1.2 metres across the condo, leading to MGS, and a public pathway around the construction site.De Souza had already met three times with Maplewoods residents by 30 June 2011. He was accompanied by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan (a fellow MP) and Chew Hock Yoong, the chief executive of LTA.
The launch shaft was eventually moved slightly farther from Maplewoods condo’s entrance/exit, towards Blackmore Drive.
The work was resumed on the 12th of July 2011, a month after it had been suspended. Also, it should be noted that in 2013, Alpine Bau was declared bankrupt. This caused delays to Downtown Line Stage 2. The truck also ran into two boys earlier in January 2013.
Despite all the issues and concerns, King Albert Park station was finished as planned in 2015.
Maplewoods Condo issue during Downtown Line Stage 2 construction was a unique case that served as a lesson to all.
It serves as a reminder to tenants and residents that, while they can look forward living near an MRT station in the future, it’s construction’s difficulties and inconveniences usually last 5-10 years.