Bedok land reclamation

The Bedok planning area – as delineated in 1994 by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) – is bounded by Siglap Canal, Marine Parade Road, Still Road, Jalan Eunos, Eunos Link and Airport Road to the west, the Paya Lebar Airport boundary to the north and the Bedok Canal to the east. Part of the area was reclaimed during the first phase of the East Coast Reclamation Scheme. Encompassing an area of approximately 2,157 ha, the Bedok planning area includes sub-zones such as Kaki Bukit, Kembangan, Frankel and Siglap.1

Historical background
Old Bedok Road in 1930 was a rather narrow country road with little traffic, flanked by coconut trees on both sides.2 The Simpang Bedok Village, on the other hand, stood on high ground and offered a good view of the Singapore Strait. Its inhabitants were mostly Malay and Chinese fishermen, and the reclamation of Bedok in the 1960s led many of them to turn to other means of earning a living, such as selling cigarettes, food and drinks.3

The East Coast Reclamation Scheme
Launched in April 1966, the East Coast Reclamation Scheme was completed 20 years later at the end of 1986. Prior to this scheme, a smaller reclamation project had taken place in 1963 to reclaim 19 ha of land at East Coast Road.4

The East Coast Reclamation Scheme was carried out in seven phases at a total cost of $613 million. It reclaimed a total of 1,525 ha and its last phase added about 1 km of shoreline. As the government agent for this reclamation scheme, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) was responsible for the planning, design and supervision of construction for the project.5

Reclamation methods
Fill material used in the reclamation project was obtained through the cutting of hills in Siglap and Tampines. The area was subsequently excavated to form Bedok Reservoir. The cut soil was then transported by belt conveyors all the way to a loading jetty off Bedok, loaded onto barges and dumped directly into the reclaimed area. Bulldozers and dump trucks then spread, graded and compacted the reclaimed land to its final levels.6

Use of reclaimed land
The reclaimed land in Bedok has been used for the construction of residential housing, commercial buildings and recreational facilities. Residential units included private housing and high-rise flats built by HDB.7


Marsita Omar

1. Urban Redevelopment Authority (Singapore), Bedok Planning Area: Planning Report 1994 (Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority, 1994), 5, 7, 8. (Call no.i RSING 711.4095957 SIN)
2. Urban Redevelopment Authority (Singapore), Bedok Planning Area, 9.
3. S. Ramachandra, Singapore Landmark (Singapore: n.p., 1969), 5. (Call no. RSING 959.57 RAM-[HIS])
4. Chia Lin Sien, Habibullah Khan and Chou Loke Ming, The Coastal Environmental Profile of Singapore (Manila: International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management, 1988), 41. (Call no. RSING 333.917095957 CHI)
5. Chia, Khan and Chou, Coastal Environmental Profile of Singapore, 41.
6. K. Y. Yong, S. L. Lee and G. P. Karunaratne, “Coastal Reclamation in Singapore: A Review,” in Urban Coastal Area Management: The Experience of Singapore, ed. Chia Lin Sien and Chou Loke Ming (Manila: International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management, 1991), 61. (Call no. RSING 333.91715095957 SIN)
7. Chia, Khan and Chou, Coastal Environmental Profile of Singapore, 41.

The information in this article is valid as of Nov 2016 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.

Politics and Government
Reclamation of land--Singapore