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Orchard road to undergo a S$40 million transformation

In blog on October 29, 2007 at 7:21 pm

SINGAPORE: Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping belt, is set to be transformed under a S$40 million plan.

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced on Monday that works to rejuvenate the area will start in February next year.

Part of the rejuvenation plans is to expand pedestrian walkways and create Urban Green Rooms, which will be used for art exhibitions, mini performances or major events like the Chingay.

The Urban Green Rooms will be constructed at the existing lane along Orchard Road that faces ION Orchard, Wisma Atria and Meritus Mandarin Hotel.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has given the plan the green light after accessing traffic conditions on that specific stretch of Orchard Road.

LTA explained that based on pure traffic-lane balancing, the section of Orchard Road before the Scotts Road junction has three lanes moving forward, which is adequate for traffic to smoothly move into a four-lane road segment.

Chandra Sekar, Director of Community Partnership at LTA, said: “The build-up of traffic can be attributed to many reasons. Sometimes it could be due to breakdowns or it could be due to a surge in traffic demand for a certain time period when everyone decides to move down to Orchard Road for a particular purpose. However during normal times, the amount of road space provided can cater to the traffic movement.”

Discussions are still on-going to decide if the lane facing Ngee Ann City will be turned into an Urban Green Room as well.

There will also be more greenery along the 2-kilometre Orchard Road.

The whole stretch of area will be divided into three themes – flower theme in Tanglin Zone, forest theme at the Orchard Zone, and fruit theme at the Somerset Zone.

STB said Orchard Road attracts more than 7 million visitors annually so it is consistently ranked as Singapore’s most-visited, free-access attraction.

Margaret Teo, Assistant CEO (Leisure), STB, said: “Going forward, we will be working more with them on new events given that we have more space, and we’ll be looking at specific activities such as Late Night Shopping to see how we can improve and shape it.”

STB expects the facelift to be completed in April 2009.

– CNA/so

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