Nov 27, 2008
Samsung bags $635m contract for expressway
THE Land Transport Authority (LTA) has busted its budget for a new
expressway by nearly 50 per cent - and work has not even started.
Yesterday, the LTA announced that it had awarded Samsung C&T Corp a $634.8
million contract to build about 800m of tunnels for the 5km Marina Coastal
Expressway (MCE) - an underground and undersea road that will run through
the new Marina Bay financial and entertainment district.
It is the fifth of six major civil contracts for the 10-lane highway, the
construction of which will start in the first quarter of next year and is
due for completion in 2013.
So far, $3.7 billion worth of contracts have been awarded - far exceeding
the $2.5 billion estimated price tag when the project was announced last
year. The remaining contract is expected to be awarded in the next few
The highway, which links the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) to Ayer
Rajah Expressway, could eventually cost $5 billion, or about $1 billion per
km, making it Singapore's costliest road per km.
The underground KPE, currently the costliest, pales in comparison at $142
million per km.
'We have funding approval from the Government,' the LTA said in response to
a query from The Straits Times.
The authority attributed the escalated cost to poor soil conditions, land
reclamation and the general increase in material cost.
The MCE is also wider, with five lanes in each direction, compared with
three for the KPE.
The latest contract is Samsung C&T's second MCE deal. The firm had earlier
clinched a $716.4 million deal to build a 950m stretch of tunnels.
The other civil works were awarded to Ssangyong Engineering & Construction,
Penta-Ocean Construction and Sato Kogyo-Daelim Industrial