Bishan Park undergoes S$76m facelift

One of Singapore’s most popular parks is about to blossom – with a river promenade, cafes, themed playgrounds and diverse wildlife to give it vibrancy.

This will be the new face of Bishan Park after the 35-metre wide canal beside it is transformed into a river that meanders through the park – the first time a canal will be naturalised and integrated into a park in Singapore.

When completed in 2011, it will also be linked to the Kallang River.

To give the 3km man-made waterway the natural feel of a river, soil bio-engineering techniques – the use of plant materials and traditional engineering methods – will be employed for the first time in Singapore. There will be greenery and rocks along the river walls to prevent soil erosion and to beautify its banks. The greenery will also provide a natural habitat for wildlife.

This revamp is being commissioned under the Public Utilities Board’s (PUB) Active, Beautiful, and Clean Waters (ABC Waters) Programme, after a 60m stretch of Bishan Park was converted into a river waterway as a test bed for the project last December. One of the biggest challenges, said PUB’s 3P network director Yap Kheng Guan, was to decide which plants to use, as these need to survive river water currents.

The $76-million project is undertaken in conjunction with the redevelopment of the 20-year-old park by the National Parks Board. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will launch the project tomorrow.

PUB is also working on eight other projects under its ABC Waters Programme. These include the building of a floating island in Sengkang to link residents from one bank of Sungei Punggol to the other via a floating bridge. Another eight projects in areas including Rochor Canal, Geylang River and Sungei Pandan are slated to start next year.

Source : Today – 2 Oct 2009

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