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LTA awards S$932.8m contract to build Johor Bahru-Singapore RTS Link

Artist's impression of RTS Link Woodlands North station and CIQ building - LTA.JPG
Artist's impression of RTS Link Woodlands North station and CIQ building. The second civil contract for this project will be awarded in Q1 2021.

Artist's impression of RTS Link Woodlands North station - departure platform - LTA.JPG
Artist's impression of RTS Link Woodlands North station's departure platform. The second civil contract for this project will be awarded in Q1 2021.

Location of RTS Link Woodlands North station and CIQ building - LTA.JPG
Location of RTS Link Woodlands North station and CIQ building. The second civil contract for this project will be awarded in Q1 2021.

SINGAPORE'S Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded the first of two civil contracts for the construction of a long-awaited cross-border train service between the city-state and Malaysia's Johor Bahru.

Penta-Ocean Construction bagged the S$932.8 million contract, which covers the construction of the Woodlands North station for the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link, tunnels as well as the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) building in Singapore.

Construction for the RTS Link is expected to start in the first quarter of next year, with passenger service slated to commence in end-2026.

LTA said in a statement on Thursday that the second civil contract for this project, which includes the construction of the RTS Link viaduct, will be awarded in the first quarter of 2021.

The RTS Link is a standalone Light Rail Transit system between the city-state's terminus at Woodlands North station and the Malaysia terminus at Bukit Chagar station.

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It will be able to support a peak capacity of 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction.

The CIQ facilities will be co-located at both stations, and passengers will only be required to clear both Singapore and Malaysia immigration authorities once, at the point of departure.

When they arrive in Singapore, passengers can continue their journeys by transferring to the Thomson-East Coast Line's (TEL) Woodlands North MRT station.

The project had been suspended in April 2019 at Malaysia's request, before a ceremony was held in July 2020 to mark its official resumption. The initial start date for its operations had been in end-2024.

Observers told The Business Times then that besides easing traffic congestion along the Causeway, the RTS Link could increase business links between the two cities and allow Malaysian day workers to commute more quickly to Singapore.

Penta-Ocean has wide-ranging experience in infrastructure and building projects in Singapore, LTA noted on Thursday.

The company is constructing the Bright Hill and Orchard MRT stations on the TEL, and previously worked on the TEL Woodlands North station and the Downtown Line's Bendemeer station.

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