Come 2027, the terminals at Keppel, Tanjong Pagar and Pulau Brani would have moved to Tuas to expand Singapore’s port capabilities.
The former terminal sites will be rejuvenated to be part of the Greater Southern Waterfront after 2030.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) plans to transform the southern stretch from Labrador to Marina South into a waterfront promenade where residential estates will be built alongside commercial districts and offices.
The construction of Keppel MRT station will be completed in 2025, a few years before the Greater Southern Waterfront materialises.
Housing, commercial, cultural and entertainment establishments would flourish at the rejuvenated south, allowing residents to live and work in the same area.
With “car-lite” and “green spaces” being the tagline of the city’s present and future, more parks are expected to appear under the project.
Coming from URA’s master plan, the Central Linear Park in Marina Bay could be extended into the development site.
Residents could take a day’s stroll along the 30km-long waterfront starting from Labrador to Gardens by the Bay.
A new green corridor to connect Labrador Park, Berlayer Creek, Mount Faber and Pulau Brani’s existing hillock can be created.
Furthermore, many streets within the Greater Southern Waterfront are likely to be car-free zones. The MRT station’s design also reflects the country’s pro-bike approach as an underground bicycle park is in the layout.
Among the mega-development’s plans is to increase the country’s water security. The harbour between Tanjong Pagar and Pulau Brani could be converted into a new reservoir to store rainwater from the vicinity and excess water from Marina Reservoir.
With these ideas considered for the country’s next big infrastructural project, naming the MRT station after the Greater Southern Waterfront could be a symbol or gesture of anticipation for what the 30km district could look like.
Although Keppel will have a new meaning in the future, its original identity, associated with its shipping and port activities, will stay with many.
With the southern terminals shifting to Tuas, in a decade, the red-and-blue sea of shipping containers and cranes will no longer be a common sight for those who drive along Keppel Road.
The maritime industry contributes about 7 per cent to the nation’s economy and its role as a port-of-call played a huge part in nation-building.
To retain a piece of the southern coastline’s shipping and port activities (which have developed since the 1970s), the MRT station’s name could also signify the country’s position as a major shipping hub.
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