Road closures and diversions in preparation for F1 race.
By Patwant Singh, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 03 July 2008 2125 hr

SINGAPORE: Expect road closures and diversions in preparation for Singapore's first Formula One race in September this year. The most affected areas will be roads around the Padang, Marina Square and Suntec City.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) assured the public on Thursday that the closures and diversions will be done in stages, with minimal disruption.

The first road closure will be at St Andrew's Road and Connaught Drive from September 20 to October 2.

Marina Centre will be shut to traffic from September 23 to 30, while Nicoll Highway and Republic Avenue will be closed on the three race days September 26 to 28.

LTA said city-bound traffic during the morning peak hours will not be disrupted as Nicoll Highway, Republic Boulevard and Raffles Avenue will be opened from 5am to 9am during the race week.

Some 100,000 people are expected at the F1 race and LTA is seeking the public's cooperation to ensure that the race progresses smoothly.

As such, it is encouraging race-goers to take public transport which will be ramped up to cope with the increased demand.

LTA's Chief Executive Yam Ah Mee said: "We are looking at enhancing the train services and extending the operating hours for all public transport."

The public can take shuttle buses to the race area from Bugis and Raffles City MRT stations. These buses will operate at intervals of 10 to 12 minutes.

There will also be designated taxi drop-off points within the Suntec City area.

One of the main reasons for the road closures is to set up massive logistics required for the F1 race. They include some 240 lighting pylons and 6,000 to 7,000 safety barricades which will line both sides of the 5km race circuit.

Concealed overhead bridges will also be constructed to allow spectators to move from one side of the track to the other.

Emergency vehicles, shuttle buses and vehicles with official passes will be allowed into the race area to serve the needs of the race and for businesses to continue operations.

Rehearsals for traffic management will be conducted ahead of time to ensure that everything is in top gear during the actual event.

- CNA/so