Nature walkway will link Alexandra to Keppel

From garden to creek to harbour - all in just 2km
Liaw Wy-Cin, Straits Times 15 May 08

IN THREE years, the last part of the plan to transform Singapore's rugged southern coast into a nature haven will fall into place.

This will take the form of a 2.2km walkway - the Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk - which will take nature lovers from Alexandra Road to Keppel Harbour on a trek that will include greenery and mangrove swamps.

The more adventurous can continue for another 6km along the waterfront and onto the slopes of Mount Faber and Telok Blangah, then end their walk at the Alexandra start point.
The 8km loop, connecting hills in the Southern Ridges to the southern waterfront, is part of the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) 2002 plan to create more parks and water bodies.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made a passing reference to this walkway last weekend, when he opened two nearby pedestrian bridges in the Southern Ridges.

Also part of the 2002 plan, the 9km-long Southern Ridges comprise three large hill parks - Mount Faber, Telok Blangah Hill Park and Kent Ridge Park.

Two years and $25.5million have gone into developing the Southern Ridges, now crowned by two distinctive bridges - Alexandra Arch and Henderson Waves.

Work to extend the nature playground with the Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk, estimated to cost $10 million, will start next year, said the URA. It will start with a garden trail at the Alexandra Arch where more shrubs will be planted, and cycling paths and more footpaths built.

The path will wend towards the Berlayer Creek mangrove swamps, which are now inaccessible. Besides a boardwalk, plaques about the plants and animal life will also be put up.

The boardwalk will take the trekker by the sea and link Labrador Park to the future promenade fronting the Reflections at Keppel Bay condominium.

With the condominium and the Labrador MRT station slated to be ready by 2011, the whole area - including nearby recreational areas such as Gillman Village and VivoCity - is expected to buzz, said the URA's director (conservation and development services), Mr Ler Seng Ann.

The URA is expected to release a masterplan for leisure activities next week.

Labrador trail afoot

Newest pedestrian link between HarbourFront and West Coast Park launched
Ng Jing Yng, Today Online 15 May 08;

Come 2011, Singaporeans will be able to set foot on a part of Singapore's coastline that is currently inaccessible to the public.

The Labrador area, which is near Alexandra Road, has one of the few mangrove swamps in the south of Singapore. And plans are afoot to open a nature and coastal walk there.

It is part of a larger push to give a green hue to leisure and recreation in the southern part of Singapore.

The $10-million project, consisting of a 2.2-km trail and boardwalk, will be added to a 9-km series of green links starting from HarbourFront MRT Station and ending at West Coast Park.

The first of the links — two pedestrian bridges known as Henderson Waves and Alexandra Arch at the southern ridges (Mount Faber, Telok Blangah Hill and Kent Ridge Park) — was officially launched last Saturday.

Yesterday, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) revealed details of the Labrador segment of its southern initiative.

The Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk will be connected to the southern ridges via an 830-metre Alexandra Road Garden Trail, which will see footpaths being widened and cycle paths built, as well as more landscaping being done alongside existing matured trees to act as a buffer from the traffic along Alexandra Road.

After crossing Telok Blangah Road, a visitor would reach the 960-metre Berlayer Creek Mangrove Trail, which will feature an entrance plaza with an information gallery about the mangroves, as well as a rest area. The proposed trail will have lookout points with storyboards about the flora and fauna.

At the end of the Creek would be the 330-metre Bukit Chermin Harbour View Walk, which will have an elevated walkway providing scenic waterfront views of Keppel Harbour and Sentosa, in an area that was once exclusive to members of the Keppel Club.

URA's conservation and development services director Ler Seng Ann told reporters that the project aims to "enhance the southern ridges and southern waterfront as a recreational leisure destination … to allow the public to appreciate and enjoy areas that were previously inaccessible".

He added that construction work, scheduled to start next year, would be carried out carefully to ensure that the ecosystem would not be affected.

The nature and coastal walk is scheduled to be completed in tandem with the opening of the Labrador Park MRT station along the Circle Line.

New trail links Southern Ridges to Keppel Bay
Wee Jun Kai, Business Times 15 May 08;

THE Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday announced details of its plan for a new 2.2-km 'linear park', which will connect the Southern Ridges parks, including Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, Kent Ridge Park and West Coast Park - with Labrador Park and Keppel Bay further south.

The Labrador and Nature Coastal Walk was first announced last Saturday by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the opening of HortPark and two new pedestrian bridges, which effectively created a 9km long green trail with West Coast Park and Vivocity at either end.

To further enhance Singapore's Southern Ridges and southern waterfront as a leisure and recreation destination, the 'linear park' will consist of three distinct portions, a garden trail, a mangrove boardwalk and a harbour view walk along Keppel Harbour.

The Alexandra Road Garden Trail, complete with foot and bicycle paths and rest stops, will branch off southwards along Alexandra Road from the new Alexandra Arch to the future Circle Line Labrador Park MRT station.

Continuing southward across Telok Blangah Road, nature lovers will enter a proposed landscaped plaza marking the beginning of the Berlayer Creek Mangrove Trail.

The trail will run parallel to a previously inaccessible mangrove habitat, with several boardwalks puncturing the mangrove at strategic points to both allow visitors a glimpse into its rich biodiversity and minimise any impact on the local ecosystem.

At the end of the mangrove trail, visitors may turn west to Labrador Park or continue east along a waterfront boardwalk, which will eventually connect with the waterfront promenade at Reflections @ Keppel Bay, open to the public.

The project is estimated to cost $10 million. Its construction is scheduled to begin in 2009 and is expected to be completed by 2011, along with Labrador Park MRT as well as Reflections @ Keppel Bay.

URA announces plans for new leisure destination
Channel NewsAsia 18 May 08;

SINGAPORE: In just three years, Singaporeans will be able to enjoy a new attraction in the southern part of Singapore as the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) plans to develop the area around Alexandra and Labrador Park into a recreational and leisure hub.

Berlayer Creek is a place where you can find mangrove swamps and exotic birds. But not many people are aware of the natural treasures available there.

With few amenities, access to the place is near impossible, but this is set to change in the next few years.

A mangrove trail, called the Berlayer Creek Mangrove Trail, will be built, complete with lookout points, a plaza and a boardwalk.

Ler Seng Ann, director of Conservation & Development Services, URA, said: "The construction will be carried out carefully such that the eco-system will not be affected."

The Urban Redevelopment Authority will also be sprucing up a stretch of area along the eastern bank of Alexandra Road, between Depot Road and Telok Blangah Road.

The 830-metre stretch – to be called the Alexandra Road Garden Trail – will have footpaths and cycle paths. It will connect to the Southern Ridges recreational corridor and the Horticulture Park (HortPark), which were opened on 10 May.

The new trails will lead to the 330-metre Bukit Chermin Harbour View Walk, which promises a breathtaking waterfront view of the Keppel Harbour and Sentosa from an elevated boardwalk on the sea.

The whole stretch will be called the Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk, and construction is scheduled to start next year.

"The projects aim to enhance the Southern Ridges and southern waterfront as a leisure, recreation destination. When the project is completed in 2011, the public can visit the place from either Labrador MRT station or take a bus to Southern Ridges and walk all the way to VivoCity," said Mr Ler.

The plans were unveiled a few days after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officially opened two pedestrian bridges, the Henderson Waves and the Alexandra Arch, linking Mount Faber to Telok Blangah Hill Park and Kent Ridge Park.- CNA/so