Cross Island Line poised to transform existing and new estates such as Jurong, Turf City into vibrant hubs
Cross Island Line poised to transform existing and new estates such as Jurong, Turf City into vibrant hubs. The second stage of the MRT Cross Island Line (CRL) will be welcomed by those who live and work in the west, as well as those who plan to relocate there in the future.
The six-station 15-kilometer stretch comes three years after a 12-station 29-kilometer first stage was revealed. It will have stations in densely populated residential and business areas such as Clementi, West Coast, and King Albert Park. CRL Stage 2’s Maju station, when completed in 2032, will additionally serve three higher schools that do not currently have rail access: SIM Global Education, Singapore University of Social Sciences, and Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
Moreover, the railway will have stops in two future precincts: Turf City and Jurong Lake District. Turf City is intended to be a large mixed-use development enclave, whilst Jurong Lake Area is intended to be a second central business district. This is not the first time that a new MRT line would pass through poor catchment areas. When Singapore’s initial MRT project, the North-South Line, was still in its early stages in the late 1980s, plans were already in the works to expand it northwards to Woodlands, then a sparsely populated new town that altered radically once the MRT extension opened in 1996.
Turf City and Jurong Lake District, on the other hand, are larger and more densely populated than Woodlands was three decades ago. While the Urban Redevelopment Authority has ambitious plans to develop them, it remains to be seen whether these neighborhoods will transform sufficiently in 10 years to reach the density associated with an MRT station. If not, there is a possibility that completed stations, such as Mount Pleasant and Marina South stations when Stage 3 of the Thomson-East Coast Line opens later this year, or Woodleigh and Buangkok stations when the North-East Line opened in 2003, may remain unused.
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