First contract awarded for civils work on $2.4bn Singapore-Malaysia shuttle

The Singapore Land Transit Authority (LTA) has awarded Japanese contractor Penta-Ocean Construction a US$676m civil engineering package for the 4km rail shuttle now being built to connect Singapore and Malaysia.

The Tokyo company will work on the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System, which will connect the island with the neighbouring Malaysian city of Johor Bahru. The system, which will be mostly built on viaducts, will have two stations, and will pass over the Strait of Johor on a 25m-high bridge.

The company has previously handled a number of civils schemes in Singapore, most notably land reclamation schemes for Jurong Island and Changi International Airport.

The total cost of the project is expected to be US$2.4bn.

Penta-Ocean will handle tunnelling work, and will build the Singapore terminus of Woodlands North station and the Malaysia terminus at Bukit Chaga as well as a Customs, Immigration & Quarantine (CIQ) building in Singapore. There will be a similar building on the Malaysian side.

According to the LTA, the CIQs will handle passenger checks and "facilitate a seamless travelling experience".

Work on the link will begin early next year, and when complete at the end of 2026 it will carry 41,400 people a day over the straight, easing congestion on the causeway that currently carries road traffic.

The system will be operated by RTS Operations, a joint venture formed by Malaysia’s Prasarana Malaysia and Singapore’s SMRT Corporation.

Malaysia began construction of its side of the shuttle on 22 November (see further reading).

The shuttle was first suggested in 1991 as a way of reducing traffic congestion on the Johor-Singapore Causeway, but it was not until July this year that the scheme began in earnest.

Image: LTA’s rendering of Woodlands North Station

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