Part of concrete canal at Tampines turned into naturalised river with rain gardens & lookout decks

Around 1km of the canal, along one bank at Tampines Eco Green, was naturalised.

Ashley Tan | August 03, 2022, 02:57 PM

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Residents in the east side of Singapore can now enjoy the sight of verdant green instead of dreary grey concrete when walking along Sungei Tampines.

A portion of the 3.3km-long waterway, which runs through Tampines and Pasir Ris, and leads to the sea, has been upgraded and transformed into a naturalised river.

Naturalised river

Officially opened on Jul. 30, the waterway had undergone two makeovers as part of PUB's Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) programme.

The first, in 2015, involved a 1.1km stretch of the canal between the Tampines Expressway (TPE) and Pasir Ris Drive 3.

According to The Straits Times, this did not involve any naturalisation or drainage improvements.

In 2018, another 1.4km stretch of the canal from Tampines Ave 7 to the TPE was upgraded. These works were completed in July 2022.

Around 1km of this portion, along one bank of the canal at Tampines Eco Green, was naturalised.

Photo from PUB

The soil bioengineering techniques used here were similar to those conducted at the naturalised Kallang River which runs through Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

The other bank of the canal at Tampines was then seamlessly integrated with the park connector.

Here are some before and after pictures to illustrate the difference:

Before. Photo from PUB

After. Photo from PUB

Before. Photo from PUB

After. Photo from PUB

Aside from improving the aesthetics of the area, the plants in the waterway were chosen specifically to help stabilise the slope, as well as to create a native riparian (wetlands near rivers and streams) habitat for biodiversity.

Enhancing communal spaces

The latest improvements to Sungei Tampines cost S$48 million, reported ST.

Aside from greening the canal, drainage improvement works were carried out at the waterway.

The waterway currently serves a catchment area of 919ha and is 17m to 20m wide.

It has since been widened by up to 4.5m and deepened by 0.5m, which will increase its capacity to convey stormwater by 30 per cent.

This will greatly enhance flood protection of the surrounding Sungei Tampines area in the event of heavy rain or flash floods.

The area has also been spruced up with new footpaths, seats, shelters, and lookout decks.

There are also three rain garden nodes along Sungei Tampines, which are designed to detain and cleanse stormwater runoff from Tampines Eco Green, before being discharged into the river.

Photo from PUB

As Tampines North is not a flooding hot spot or flood-prone, PUB said that the naturalisation of the canal was mainly to enhance the liveability of the place, reported ST.

Additionally, PUB took the opportunity to improve connectivity in the area, by adding a new Garden bridge near 496C Tampines Street 43.

Photo from PUB

Top photo from PUB