Sentosa Causeway

by Nureza Ahmad

The Sentosa Causeway links Sentosa Island with mainland Singapore. Built at a cost of S$117 million, the causeway was officially opened by former Senior Minister of State (Trade and Industry), Lim Boon Heng, on 15 December 1992.1

The Sentosa Causeway is 380 m long, with two pairs of towers at each end to mark the gateway to the island. Its construction took into account the nature of Sentosa as a resort island. Trees adorn the wide pedestrian walkway cum cycling-and-jogging track. At night, the bridge is lit with decorative lighting, making it pleasant for strolling.2

In December 1986, the Singapore government announced new developmental plans to improve and upgrade Sentosa Island’s attractions. Being an offshore island, Sentosa could be reached only by ferry or cable car at that time. A S$470-million project was proposed to improve the resort island’s facilities as well as its accessibility.3 Studies were conducted to assess the viability of constructing either a causeway or tunnel system to link Sentosa to mainland Singapore. A causeway was finally chosen over tunnel construction, as it would cost less to build – at an estimated S$122 million compared to S$355 million for a tunnel.4

The Public Works Department initiated the project to link mainland Singapore to the two southern islands, Sentosa and Pulau Brani. The project consisted of two phases. The first would see a 330-metre causeway constructed across the Keppel Channel linking Singapore to Pulau Brani. The second is a 380-metre bridge that joins the causeway at Pulau Brani to Sentosa’s ferry terminal.5

A ground-breaking ceremony was held on 3 November 1990 to mark the official start of the construction of the Keppel-Brani causeway.6 The link was completed about a year later and officially opened on 24 November 1991. It became the first land link to be constructed between Singapore and an offshore island.7 A year later on 15 December 1992, the Sentosa Causeway was completed and officially opened by then Senior Minister of State (Trade and Industry), Lim Boon Heng. The total cost of the Sentosa causeway project was S$117 million. Along with 300 guests, the minister boarded the Singapore Bus Service’s inaugural bus service across the causeway, before heading to a buffet dinner at the Pioneers of Singapore Surrender Chambers.8

In 1998, the pedestrian walkway of the causeway-bridge was closed temporarily to facilitate the expansion of the two-lane carriageway into four lanes. This was to provide better access to the island’s attractions as well as upcoming developments in housing, hotels, and food and beverage.9

A second causeway to Sentosa was completed in July 2009. Built by Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), the 710-metre long bridge served one-way traffic heading into Sentosa, while the existing causeway served outgoing traffic. The additional bridge catered for the increase in traffic when RWS opened and more residents moved into Sentosa Cove.10


Shereen Tay

1. Sentosa’s new link opens with fiery fanfare. (1992, December 16). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Sentosa road link designed to keep island’s ambience. (1990, November 4). The Straits Times, p. 21. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. $400 m plan for better Sentosa. (1986, December 11). The Straits Times, p. 15; Lim, S. N. (1986, December 11). Government offers $20m tax incentives for tourism. The Business Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. Tong, S. C. (1988, February 23). Sentosa to be linked to mainland by causeway. The Business Times, p. 18; Sentosa causeway may be restricted to buses. (1988, July 30). The Straits Times, p. 17. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Lee, H. S. (1989, January 14). Singapore-Sentosa road link by 1992. The Business Times, p. 20. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Sentosa road link designed to keep island’s ambience. (1990, November 4). The Straits Times, p. 21. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Mass run to mark opening of Brani link. (1991, November 23). The Straits Times, p. 23. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Sentosa’s new link opens with fiery fanfare. (1992, December 16). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. Walkway closed for Sentosa link expansion. (1998, February 1). The Straits Times, p. 11. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
10. New bridge to Sentosa open to traffic. (2009, July 9). The Business Times, p. 8. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

The information in this article is valid as at 2009 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.


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