Upgrading along Kallang River, Sungei Whampoa to bring residents closer to water

Liyana Othman Channel NewsAsia 22 Jan 17;

SINGAPORE: Viewing decks and new spaces have been built along Kallang River and Sungei Whampoa, as part of national water agency PUB’s Active, Beautiful and Clean (ABC) Waters programme.

The project at Kallang River was officially opened on Sunday morning (Jan 22) by Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim who is also the MP for Jalan Besar GRC.

The project involved an upgrade of a 320-metre stretch to feature a promenade that is significantly widened from 3 to 15 metres, so pedestrians and cyclists can use the recreational space together.

There is now also a ramp for the wheelchair-bound to access the upgraded promenade. Room has been set aside for plants - particularly those that attract butterflies, like the Rose Myrtle - to increase biodiversity in the area.

There are also rain gardens with specially-selected plants and soil to cleanse rainwater from the promenade, before it goes into the river. And a touch of nostalgia - shelters have been built to mimic the masts of vessels that often sailed along Kallang River in the 19th century.

All this is meant to bring the community closer to Singapore’s waters. For instance, Kong Hwa School which is the project’s first adopter, is coming up with a learning trail for its students.

“The ABC Waters design features, such as the rain gardens, coupled with the tradition and significance of the Kallang neighbourhood, make for great learning opportunities and reinforce character and citizenship education beyond the classroom,” said Mr Jerry Yang, a teacher.

The upgrading works along Kallang River cost about S$3.8 million, and is the first ABC project to be opened this year.

Similar enhancements have been made further upstream at Sungei Whampoa, which flows into Kallang River. For example, the previously fenced up and unused space beside Whampoa Community Club has been spruced up.

There are now lookout decks along a 450-metre stretch for residents to relax and carry out various activities.

There is also a rain garden built here, to clean the rainwater runoff from the newly upgraded CC, before it is discharged into the canal. Efforts have also been made to green the canal walls. These enhancements, which cost about $1.8 million, will officially be opened in February.

“ABC Waters @ Kallang River and Sungei Whampoa are really about building for the future. Both projects were planned to be integrated with upcoming development works in the vicinity”, said PUB’s Chief Sustainability Officer Mr Tan Nguan Sen.

“As both Kallang River and Sungei Whampoa flow into the Marina Reservoir - a source of water supply, we hope residents will help to play their part in keeping the waters free from litter so that all of us can enjoy cleaner, clearer waters and a better living environment”, he added.

- CNA/mn

A chance to enjoy Kallang River thanks to A, B, C
JEONG HONGBIN Today Online 22 Jan 17;

SINGAPORE — Residents living along the Kallang River between Upper Boon Keng Road and Sims Avenue now have more ways to enjoy the riverfront with new boat-shaped viewing decks and a wider promenade for taking in the evening breeze.

The S$3.8 million improvements, which took one-and-a-half years to complete, comes under Singapore’s national water agency PUB’s Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) programme, which aims to transform the nation’s water bodies beyond their utilitarian function.

At ABC Waters@Kallang River, the pathway for cyclists and pedestrians have been doubled to 6 metres wide, and now has in place of stairs, making it easier for cyclists and wheelchair users to access the riverfront.

The new viewing decks, with a design inspired by the masts of early sailing vessels which used to ply the river, are expected to become the new landmarks in the area. Two rain gardens, which will detain and cleanse rainwater that run off the promenade before it gets discharged into the river, can be used as outdoor classrooms for students.

Kong Hwa School has already ‘adopted’ the space, with a plan to design an ABC Waters Learning Trail to augment its curriculum for students. Kolam Ayer Citizens’ Consultative Committee (CCC) also has plans to use the area to hold various grassroots events to promote community bonding.

The project was officially opened on Sunday (Jan 22) by Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim.

Further upstream at Sungei Whampoa, a second ABC Waters improvement has also been completed. The S$1.8 million remodelling took one year, and is expected to be officially opened on Feb 26.

This ABC Waters @ Sungei Whampoa project includes a lookout deck, seating, a boardwalk and a rain garden along the 450m stretch of the river between Kim Keat Road and Central Expressway (CTE).

“We hope through the enjoyment of these places, residents can develop a sense of ownership towards our waters and understand also the importance of having to keep our waterways clean,” said Cheng Geok Ling, PUB’s deputy director of sustainability.

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