Minimal Impact To Bukit Brown

Minimal Impact To Bukit Brown: The new road across Bukit Brown Cemetery will feature a vehicular bridge that will run for nearly a third of its 2km length, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) as it announced the road’s final alignment yesterday.
The 670m vehicular bridge, which will run over existing creeks in the area, will minimise “impact to the existing terrain and surrounding environment”, while allowing for wildlife movement under it.bukit brown
The construction of the new road will also see less graves being exhumed. A total of 3,746 graves from Bukit Brown and Seh Ong cemeteries will be affected, less than the 5,000 originally expected.
Next-of-kin of graves affected by the construction have till the end of this year to register their claim before exhumation begins in early 2013. A full list of affected graves will be published in the newspapers and on the LTA website, and next-of-kin can register with the LTA by post, fax, online, or in person.
In arriving at its final alignment, the LTA said yesterday it “minimises land take in the area and impact to the existing terrain and surrounding environment”.
First announced in September, the new dual four lane road is expected to alleviate the congestion currently experienced along Lornie Road and the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) during peak hours and cater to expected growth in traffic. Lornie Road will also be converted to a dual two lane road with the extra area to be used as a park.
Despite several consultations over the past six months, some civic groups continued to raise concerns over the road alignment yesterday. Dr Ho Hua Chew, who is an executive committee member at the Nature Society Singapore, told Channel NewsAsia: “A lot of forest birds can be badly affected. If it’s under shadow, the vegetation will not flourish.”
Minister of State for National Development Tan Chuan-Jin, who chaired a briefing and discussion with groups on the road last night, said the decision to proceed with construction has understandably “caused disappointment to those who want to conserve Bukit Brown”. “I want to give assurance to those who have been giving us their views on this matter that the decision has not been an easy one,” Mr Tan wrote on his Facebook page. “While we have not been able to fully accommodate their wishes, we have taken many of their views into consideration.”
For instance, he noted the decision to embark on a serious documentation of the affected graves was a result of advice received from the heritage society. The LTA has also factored in feedback in its design of the road to minimise impact to the cemetery, hydrology and biodiversity, said Mr Tan. “Going forward, we need to continue with these conversations … For example, we are now looking at working with interested stakeholders on public outreach to commemorate the history and heritage of Bukit Brown even as we continue with work on documentation.”
When asked if the vehicular bridge would impact the cost of building the new road, an LTA spokesperson said: “Tenders have not been called at this point and the project cost will only be available after the tender is awarded.” Construction of the road is expected to complete by 2016.


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