The second stage of the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) will not open by this year and will be delayed by three months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was originally scheduled to open by 2020.
This was announced by Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung on Friday, Sept. 4, in a written answer to parliamentary questions by the Workers’ Party Member of Parliament (MP) Jamus Lim.
Second phase: Six stations opening first quarter 2021
The second phase of the TEL comprises six stations from Springleaf to Caldecott.
The two interchange stations are Bright Hill and Caldecott.
Ong said the second stage of TEL will now open by the first quarter of 2021.
Lost time will be made up for
Lim had asked about the progress of the TEL and the delays for other planned MRT projects caused by the pandemic.
Ong said that the lost time will be made up for.
He added that the TEL2 was “near completion and prioritised for resumption of work”.
But the subsequent phases of the TEL will be harder to predict at the moment.
"However, unlike the TEL2... we will only be able to better assess the length of delays on subsequent phases of TEL and other MRT projects when construction activities have more fully resumed," Ong said.
The other projects include completing the circle with Circle Line Stage 6, as well as building the North East Line Extension, Jurong Region Line and Cross Island Line.
The government “remains committed" to extend the MRT network from the present 230km to 360km by the early 2030s, Ong said.
The entire TEL line comprising 32 stations with eight interchange stations was initially expected to be fully operational in 2024.
The first stage of the TEL made up of Woodlands North, Woodlands, and Woodlands South MRT stations.
It began taking passengers on Jan. 31.
The Land Transport Authority said in January 2020 that the second phase of the TEL was about 90 per cent complete.
All construction work in Singapore was halted during the circuit breaker period from April 7 to June 1.
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Top photo via Land Transport Authority