Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE)



Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE), Singapore's ninth expressway, was fully opened to traffic on 20 September 2008.1 Stretching 12 km from East Coast Parkway (ECP) to Tampines Expressway (TPE),2 it includes a 9-kilometre-long tunnel, which was the longest underground road in Southeast Asia when it was completed in 2008.3 Built to improve connectivity between the north-eastern parts of Singapore and the city, the KPE has cut the travel time from areas such as Sengkang and Punggol to the city by up to 25 percent.4 At the same time, it has taken some pressure off the Central Expressway (CTE) and improved the connectivity between three major expressways – the ECP, TPE and Pan-Island Expressway (PIE).5

History
KPE is actually a combination of two expressways – the 2.8-kilometre-long Kallang Expressway (KLE) that links ECP to PIE, and the 9.2-kilometre-long Paya Lebar Expressway (PLE) that connects KLE to TPE. The former was part of a 1967 government plan to build a network of nine expressways across Singapore, while the latter was added to the transport plan in the mid-1980s after the government completed its North-East Sector Study (1985–1986).6 The combined expressway, now known as KPE, was included in the revised Concept Plan of 1991, which mapped out the broad directions for Singapore's long-term development.7 The government approved the funding for the project in early 2001, and the first major contract was awarded in October 2001.8

With the project’s overall bill amounting to S$1.74 billion,9 it was the most expensive road project by Land Transport Authority (LTA) at the time. A total of six civil works contracts were awarded.10 The contracts included specifications for the design and construction of the underground portion of the expressway, between ECP and Defu Lane 3, the construction of several road interchanges and six ventilation buildings as well as the construction of the ground level portion for the last three kilometres stretching from Defu Lane 3 to the TPE.11

When planning the project, the LTA sought to minimise the amount of land that would be used for the expressway. This was done by constructing three quarters of the expressway underground, with the tunnel snaking under built-up areas and two waterways. Extra measures were taken to monitor and mitigate the effects of the construction work on nearby structures.12

The tunnel was built using the cut-and-cover method, A deep trench was first dug, after which the road tunnel was built within the trench, and finally the trench was filled in to bury the completed tunnel.13 When the KPE was being built, various roads, a river and a canal were realigned temporarily, so that digging for the tunnel could take place. These were reinstated after construction was completed.14

Description
With the help of over a hundred closed-circuit television cameras, the KPE Operations Control Centre monitors the traffic situation on the expressway, especially the tunnel, 24 hours a day. In addition, the centre will be alerted if the automatic accident-detection cameras pick up something unusual, such as a vehicle remaining stationary for too long in the tunnel.15

State-of-the-art fibre-optic heat detectors monitor the temperature in the tunnel and will activate an alarm in the event of a fire. There are also sensors to monitor carbon monoxide levels in the tunnel. When the level of carbon monoxide gets exceedingly high or when there is a fire, the ventilation system will be activated to extract the exhaust fumes or smoke out of the tunnels.16

Safety education programme
17
The LTA undertook a comprehensive programme to promote safe driving in the tunnel and to educate motorists on the emergency procedures. It delivered its message through various means, including:

Construction challenges
As it involved building Singapore's longest subterranean road,18 the KPE was the most complex road project undertaken by the LTA.19 The following were some of the challenges faced by LTA:

Timeline
Apr 2001: The government acquires about 47,618 sq m of land for the project, mainly at Geylang Lorong 2, 4, 5 and 7, Upper Paya Lebar Road, Airport Road and Defu Industrial Estate.25
Oct 2001: Contract 421 is awarded to SembCorp Engineers & Constructors for S$235 million.26
Dec 2001: Contract 422 is awarded to a joint venture between SembCorp Engineers & Constructors and Daewoo Engineering & Construction for S$257 million.27
Jun 2002: Contract 423 worth S$364 million is awarded to Samsung Corporation (Engineering & Construction Group).28 Taisei Corporation clinches Contract 424 for S$251 million.29
June 2002: Construction begins.30
Aug 2003: Contracts 425 and 426 are awarded separately to Chan & Chan Construction and Chye Joo Construction.31
Mar 2006: The LTA appoints a team from French motorway operator, Autoroutes Paris Rhine Rhone (APRR), to review the design, systems, operational procedures and training processes of the KPE project.32
27 Jul 2007: The LTA launches a dedicated web portal, www.kpeunderground.sg, to provide information on route navigation, restrictions and prohibitions, safe tunnel-driving habits and emergency procedures.33
25 Oct 2007:The Tunnel that Moved a River, an LTA documentary on the construction of KPE, airs on Channel NewsAsia.34
26 Oct 2007: Phase 1 of the KPE, the section between ECP and PIE, opens to traffic.35
17 Sep 2008: The APRR team declares KPE safe to open.36

19 Sep 2008: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officially opens the KPE.37
20 Sep 2008: KPE fully opens to traffic.38



Author

Valerie Chew



References
1. Ng, D. (2008, September 20). KPE by numbers. The New Paper, p. 12. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Land Transport Authority. (2001). Annual report 2000/2001. Singapore: Land Transport Authority, p. 28. (Call no.: RCLOS 354.595700878 SLTAAR-[AR])
3. Land Transport Authority. (2008). Transcending travel: A macro view: Annual report 2007/2008, p. 30. Retrieved 2016, October 23 from Land Transport Authority website: https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/dam/ltaweb/corp/PublicationsResearch/files/AnnualReports/0708/LTA_AR_0708.pdf; Ministry of Transport. (2002, November 11). Speech by Mr Yeo Cheow Tong, Minister for Transport, at the Kallang Paya Lebar Expressway contract signing ceremony on 11th November, 2002. Retrieved 2016, October 9 from Ministry of Transport website: http://www.mot.gov.sg/News-Centre/News/2002/Speech-By-Mr-Yeo-Cheow-Tong-At-The-Kallang-Paya-Lebar-Expressway-Contract-Signing-Ceremony-On-11-November-2002/
4. Cheong, C. (2008). Building Singapore's longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, p. 19. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE); Land Transport Authority. (2008). Transcending travel: A macro view: Annual report 2007/2008, p. 30. Retrieved 2016, October 23 from Land Transport Authority website: https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/dam/ltaweb/corp/PublicationsResearch/files/AnnualReports/0708/LTA_AR_0708.pdf
5. Ng, D. (2008, September 20). KPE by numbers. The New Paper, p. 12. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Cheong, C. (2008). Building Singapore's longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, pp. 19, 22. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE)
7. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1991). Living the next lap: Towards a tropical city of excellence. Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority, pp. 12, 14, 38. (Call no.: RSING 307.36095957 LIV)
8. Land Transport Authority. (2001). Annual report 2000/2001. Singapore: Land Transport Authority, p. 28. (Call no.: RCLOS 354.595700878 SLTAAR-[AR]); Cheong, C. (2008).  Building Singapore's  longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, p. 33. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE)
9. Cheong, C. (2008). Building Singapore's longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, p. 19. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE)
10. Biggest road project in Singapore takes off. (2002, November to December). Southeast Asia Construction, p. 8. (Call no.: RSEA 338.476900959 SAC); Tan. C. (2002, June 29). LTA awards $1b worth of contracts for Circle Line, KPE. The Business Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Cheong, C. (2008). Building Singapore's longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, pp. 30, 32–33. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE)
12. Cheong, C. (2008). Building Singapore's longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, pp. 25, 29. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE)
13. Cheong, C. (2008). Building Singapore's longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, pp. 31–32. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE)
14. Biggest road project in Singapore takes off. (2002, November to December). Southeast Asia Construction, pp. 8–9. (Call no.: RSEA 338.476900959 SAC); Everything’s new, nothing has changed. (2007, October 25). The Straits Times, p. 45. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
15. Almenoar, M. (2008, September 17). Safety first for KPE tunnel. The Straits Times, p. 26. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Cheong, C. (2008). Building Singapore's longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, pp. 131, 134. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE); Land Transport Authority. (2014, December 3). Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE). Retrieved 2016, October 23 from Land Transport Authority website: https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/ltaweb/en/roads-and-motoring/projects/kallang-paya-lebar-expressway-kpe.html; Many eyes on tunnel expressway. (2008, September 12). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
16. Almenoar, M. (2008, September 17). Safety first for KPE tunnel. The Straits Times, p. 26. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Cheong, C. (2008).
Building Singapore's longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, p. 129. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE); Land Transport Authority. (2014, December 3). Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE). Retrieved 2016, October 23 from Land Transport Authority website: https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/ltaweb/en/roads-and-motoring/projects/kallang-paya-lebar-expressway-kpe.html
17. Cheong, C. (2008). Building Singapore's longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, p. 150. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE); Land Transport Authority. (2014, December 3). Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE). Retrieved 2016, October 23 from Land Transport Authority website: https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/ltaweb/en/roads-and-motoring/projects/kallang-paya-lebar-expressway-kpe.html; Sounds of the underground. (2007, October 25). The Straits Times, p. 43. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
18. Tan, C. (2008, August 2). KPE stretch to close ahead of full opening. The Straits Times, p. 50. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
19. Challenging expressway. (2002, November 11). Today, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Cheong, C. (2008). Building Singapore's longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, p. 11. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE)
20. Cheong, C. (2008). Building Singapore's longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, pp. 29, 48. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE); Goh, C. L., & Hooi, A. (2003, October 29). Giant smoke stacks to air new expressway. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
21. All set, ready to go. (2007, October 25). The Straits Times, p. 44. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
22. Cheong, C. (2008). Building Singapore's longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, p. 29. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE); Logistical problems. (2004, August 23). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
23. Cheong, C. (2008). Building Singapore's longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, pp. 25, 32–33, 46–47, 62–63. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE); Everything’s new, nothing has changed. (2007, October 25). The Straits Times, p. 45. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
24. Cheong, C. (2008). Building Singapore's longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, pp. 47, 62, 95. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE); Ahmad Osman. (2009, May 28). Smart tunneling. The Straits Times, p. 116. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
25. Ministry of Information, Communications and The Arts. (2001, April 28). Circle Line and Kallang/Paya Lebar Expressway [Press release]. Retrieved from National Archives of Singapore website: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/
26. Cheong, C. (2008). Building Singapore's longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, p. 32. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE); Tan, C. (2001, October 12). SembCorp unit wins $235m expressway deal. The Business Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
27. Cheong, C. (2008). Building Singapore's longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, p. 32. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE); Firms wins $257m contract to build tunnel. (2001, December 14). The Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
28. Building and Construction Authority. (2017, February 11). BCA Awards 2009: Design and Engineering Safety Award. Retrieved 2016, October 23 from Building and Construction Authority website: https://www.bca.gov.sg/SafetyAward/others/desea_2009.pdf; Cheong, C. (2008). Building Singapore's longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, p. 33. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE); Land Transport Authority. (2003). Annual report 2002/2003. Singapore: Land Transport Authority, p. 46. (Call no.: RCLOS 354.595700878 SLTAAR-[AR])
29. Challenging expressway. (2002, November 11). Today, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG;

Cheong, C. (2008). Building Singapore's longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, p. 33. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE); Land Transport Authority. (2003). Annual report 2002/2003. Singapore: Land Transport Authority, p. 46. (Call no.: RCLOS 354.595700878 SLTAAR-[AR]); Tunnel Builder. (2007, August 27). First tunnel section on Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway to open in October in Singapore. Retrieved 2016, October 25 from Tunnel Builder website: http://tunnelbuilder.com/News/First-Tunnel-Section-on-Kallang-Paya-Lebar-Expressway-to-Open-in-October-in-Singapore.aspx
30. Land Transport Authority. (2003). Annual report 2002/2003. Singapore: Land Transport Authority, p. 3. (Call no.: RCLOS 354.595700878 SLTAAR-[AR])
31. Cheong, C. (2008). Building Singapore's longest road tunnel: The KPE story. Singapore: SNP Editions, p. 33. (Call no.: RSING 624.193095957 CHE); Land Transport Authority. (2004). Annual report 2003/2004. Singapore: Land Transport Authority, p. 3. (Call no.: RCLOS 354.595700878 SLTAAR-[AR])
32. Almenoar, M. (2008, September 18). KPE gets green light from safety assessors. The Straits Times, p. 35. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
33. Land Transport Authority. (2014, December 3). Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE). Retrieved 2016, October 23 from Land Transport Authority website: https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/ltaweb/en/roads-and-motoring/projects/kallang-paya-lebar-expressway-kpe.html; Sounds of the underground. (2007, October 25). The Straits Times, p. 43. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
34. Land Transport Authority. (2007, October/November). KPE phase one unveiled, p. 2. Connect. Retrieved 2016, October 23 from Land Transport Authority website: https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/dam/ltaweb/corp/PublicationsResearch/files/ReportNewsletter/Connect/LTA_Connect_-_Issue_4_FA_141207.pdf
35. Rajan, T. (2007, July 28). 3-km tunnel linking PIE and ECP opens in October. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
36. Almenoar, M. (2008, September 18). KPE gets green light from safety assessors. The Straits Times, p. 35. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Land Transport Authority. (2008, September 17). KPE gets all clear from independent team of safety assessor [Press release]. Retrieved 2016, October 23 from Land Transport Authority website: https://www.lta.gov.sg/apps/news/page.aspx?c=2&id=2006
37. Ministry of Transport. (2008, September 19). Speech by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, at the official opening of Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway phase 2 on 19th September, 2008. Retrieved 2016, October 23 from Ministry of Transport website: http://www.mot.gov.sg/News-Centre/News/2008/Speech-By-Prime-Minister-Lee-Hsien-Loong-At-The-Official-Opening-Of-Kallang---Paya-Lebar-Expressway-Phase-2-On-19-September-2008/
38. Drive, run through full KPE, before it opens. (2008, August 8). Today, p. 14. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Land Transport Authority. (2008). Transcending travel: A macro view: Annual report 2007/2008, p. 14. Retrieved 2016, October 23 from Land Transport Authority website: https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/dam/ltaweb/corp/PublicationsResearch/files/AnnualReports/0708/LTA_AR_0708.pdf



Further resources
Almenoar, M. (2008, August 29). Toll gantries on KPE built as safety precaution. The Straits Times, p. 47. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.


Tan, C. (2004, September 8). Extra level of checks for KPE project. The Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Tan, C. (2007, October 26). Traffic marshals to ply expressways to clear jams quickly. The Straits Times, p. 54. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



The information in this article is valid as at 2008 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Commerce and Industry>>Transportation
Roads--Singapore
Express highways--Singapore
Transportation
Science and technology>>Engineering>>Transportation engineering