SINGAPORE – A new U-turn in Dunearn Road near Newton Circus was opened on Sunday (Sept 12), allowing drivers to turn into Woodlands-bound Bukit Timah Road without having to use the congested roundabout.
With this, all the enhancement works at Newton Circus, which began in 2017, have been completed.
Another U-turn, on the other side of Newton Circus, which allows motorists to turn from Woodlands-bound Bukit Timah Road towards the city, opened in July.
The authorities hope these will reduce the number of vehicles using the roundabout, which recorded an average of nine accidents a year between 2016 and 2018.
Thousands of people should benefit from the completion of the project, which had been slightly delayed by Covid-19.
Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth Alvin Tan, who is the MP representing the area, said the new U-turn will help motorists and residents better navigate Newton Circus, which “can be a bit of a mess”.
Parents dropping off their children in the schools nearby – such as Singapore Chinese Girls’ School and ACS (Barker Road) – will hopefully also find peak-hour traffic less daunting, he said.
“The new U-turn should alleviate traffic even more than the previous U-turn opened in July,” he said. “In the past year, I had to placate some residents who were unhappy about the delay. Their feedback has been heard.”
Over the years, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) made various changes to Newton Circus.
It added a new pedestrian crossing between Newton Road and Dunearn Road, completed in July, to allow easier access to Newton MRT Station.
A bus stop in Bukit Timah Road was reconstructed so buses are able to stop within the bus bay without encroaching into the neighbouring lane.
Newton Circus was also widened in June to give more space for vehicles, especially public buses, which found it difficult to manoeuvre the turn.
Traffic lights were added in June at the roundabout junction of Bukit Timah Road and Clemenceau Avenue North.
On Sunday, the LTA also gave updates of enhancement works at the Balmoral Road junction, which had been under way before the Covid-19 pandemic as well.
Two U-turns were added there too, and both opened in June. One, in front of ACS (Primary), allows motorists to turn from Dunearn Road into Bukit Timah Road without going all the way to the Newton roundabout. The second, in front of Balmoral Plaza, allows those on Bukit Timah Road to turn into Dunearn Road.
A new slip road from Chancery Lane to Dunearn Road was added in March to allow vehicles to filter out quickly, while Bukit Timah Road in front of Balmoral Plaza was increased from three lanes to four.
A left turning lane was added on the same road to help motorists going to Balmoral Road to filter left faster.
A bus stop in front of Balmoral Plaza was relocated away from the main road to make it more convenient for commuters.
Two more projects, a sheltered walkway along Bukit Timah Road and Dunearn Road, as well as a drop-off shelter in front of Goodwood Residence, are under construction.