Like many island nations, Singapore is a country where land is at a premium. The government appreciated early on that a mass transit system would keep traffic flowing and act as a linchpin to a flourishing economy. For more than 40 years WSP has been helping Singapore develop that notion into one of Asia's most modern and convenient rapid transit systems. The firm has been closely associated with the system from the earliest days.
In the early 1970s WSP, in joint venture, prepared a comprehensive study of public transit for the Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRTC), predecessor of the Land Transport Authority (LTA). Over the years, the firm provided a variety of architectural planning concepts and conceptual design, mechanical/electrical design, and quality control for development of the initial MRT lines and its various subsequent extensions. The system, which now comprises approximately 176 kilometers (109 miles), is still expanding–with WSP a part of the team.
WSP made several key design contributions to the MRT system-wide. In joint venture the firm was responsible for conceptual design of 10 stations of the core system, six stations and viaducts on the Woodlands Line and six stations and tunnels and a depot on the Northeast Line, as well as conceptual design of 22 stations and tunnels for the proposed Marina Line that eventually became the Circle and Downtown lines. All the stations were designed to reflect Singapore's diverse cultures through the use of traditional architectural forms.
A WSP-designed environmental control system keeps passengers cool and comfortable in Singapore's hot, humid climate. The firm introduced a platform screen door system to the first MRT stations that involves floor-to-ceiling doors that open only when the train is in the station, increasing safety and driving down air conditioning costs by 50 percent.
Construction on the initial 67-kilometer (41-mile) 42-station system began in 1982 and consisted of a north-south line and an east-west line. The first section of the north-south line opened in November 1987 and the entire 67-kilometer (42-mile), 42-station core system was completed in July 1990, two years ahead of schedule.
Shortly thereafter, Singapore's MRTC completed several extensions of the system. As the MRT was extended, WSP was there, too. In joint venture, the firm provided design and construction support services on the elevated 16-kilometer (10-mile) extension of the north-south line, which opened in February 1996. The 20-kilometer (12-mile) North East Line opened in 2003 with the firm serving as lead design consultant to various international design-build contractors for five contracts in connection with 6 kilometers (4 miles) of tunnels and six underground stations, including the five-level underground Dhoby Ghaut Station, the largest and deepest on the entire system. Other extensions included the 6.4-kilometer (4-mile) Changi Airport Extension, opened in October 2002 and the 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) Boon Lay Extension, opened in February 2009.
In October 2011, Singapore's orbital Circle Line was completed. The 33-kilometer (21-mile) line connects all the existing lines radiating out from the city center and is the longest automated underground transit line in the world. WSP served as lead consultant for architectural, civil, structural, and mechanical/electrical engineering services on the final 16.6-kilometer (10.4-mile) stretch of the line, including 11 underground stations.
The 40-kilometer (25-mile) Downtown Line provides service to the central business district and a new development at Marina Bay. WSP provided mechanical/electrical design for the line, which opened in 2015.
With various extensions including the Downtown Line, the Thomson Line, and the Eastern Region Line, Singapore envisions 250 kilometers (150 miles) of rail public transit by 2020.
The firm aims to continue its part in those extensions. We commit to the project, and the client appreciates that we have global resources with local staff. LTA knows they can trust us to go the distance for mass rapid transit in Singapore.