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Woodlands Checkpoint to Be Redeveloped in Phases; Construction to Commence In 2025

            The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will be redeveloping Woodlands Checkpoint (WCP) for a more sustainable and long-term solution to the chronic congestion at this land crossing. The redeveloped WCP will be operationalised progressively from 2028, and will not disrupt ongoing operations at WCP.

2.          Since the opening of the current WCP in 1999, the daily traveller volume has been increasing steadily. From about 230,000 travellers in 2000, today, the daily traveller volume has returned to pre-COVID levels of about 300,000 travellers and oftentimes exceeds this level during long weekends and holiday periods. The number of travellers passing through WCP is projected to reach 400,000 per day by 2050. 

3.          ICA has undertaken various efforts to increase clearance efficiency and throughput without compromising the security of our borders. These include deploying officers dynamically, and reconfiguring the clearance lanes to clear different modes of conveyance, depending on the prevailing situation, and installing many more automated and flexi (bi-directional) lanes in the bus halls. However, there is a limit to how much these initiatives can alleviate the congestion, given existing space and infrastructural constraints. Without redeveloping WCP, the travel time for vehicular traffic could increase by more than 60-70% during peak periods by 2050.

Meeting Future Traffic & Security Demands 

4.          ICA has conducted extensive feasibility and technical studies to determine the optimal amount of land needed to meet future demands. It is assessed that the land needs for the redevelopment of WCP can only be met through land acquisition and land reclamation.

5.          JTC has been appointed to carry out the reclamation works. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was conducted to assess the potential impact of the proposed works. The EIA report has recommended mitigation measures that can be implemented to reduce the impact. Based on the report’s findings, we do not expect any major environmental concerns arising from the works. The report is available for public viewing by appointment with JTC[1]

6.          Once WCP is fully redeveloped, it will be approximately five times the size of the current WCP. The redeveloped WCP aims to:

  • Enhance clearance efficiency across all modes of conveyance (i.e., cargo vehicles, cars, motorcycles and buses), reducing average travel time from the current 60 minutes to 15 minutes during peak periods;
  • Incorporate even more automation, such as automated in-car immigration clearance systems;
  • Conduct security checks away from the checkpoint core structure, to mitigate security risks; and
  • Provide holding areas for traffic within the checkpoint, to reduce congestion extending onto local roads and the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) leading to WCP. 

7.          Given the need to maintain the current operations at WCP and accounting for existing site conditions, ICA has carefully laid out a plan to redevelop WCP in several phases over the next 10 to 15 years. 

Image1_Sitemap of the Overall WCP Redevelopment Profile
Image 1: Sitemap of the Overall WCP Redevelopment Profile - (Not to Scale – For Illustrative Purposes Only)

Phase 1: Extension at Old Woodlands Town Centre and the BKE

8.          Under Phase 1, ICA will build an extension at the Old Woodlands Town Centre (OWTC), which will see a substantial increase in the clearance capacity for cargo vehicles, cars and motorcycles[2]. There will be 21 bi-directional cargo lanes and 78 arrival car lanes constructed at the OWTC extension. This will increase cargo clearance capacity by 30% and arrival car clearance capacity by 95%. The 78 arrival car lanes can also be converted into 156 arrival motorcycle lanes to give ICA operational flexibility to manage the traffic situation during peak periods. 

9.          The BKE will be extended to create a direct route for vehicles exiting WCP to access the BKE, to reduce traffic congestion on the local roads during peak hours. The surrounding local road networks will also be upgraded to improve overall traffic flow. The extended BKE will be aligned with the eastern edge of Marsiling Park to minimise the impact on the sensitive ecological site at the western side of the park. 

  artist impression of the old woodlands town centre extension
Image 2: Artist Impression of the Old Woodlands Town Centre Extension

10.         The construction of the OWTC and BKE extension is expected to commence in 2025 and be completed progressively from 2028. Following this, the Old Woodlands Checkpoint will be demolished, redeveloped, and integrated with the OWTC extension, which is expected to be fully operational from 2032. 

11.         Residents and stakeholders in the Marsiling area have been engaged since 2022 on the upcoming developments via door-to-door visits and sharing sessions by ICA and HDB. Noise barriers will be constructed to reduce noise to residential areas near the development sites. As the local road networks will be affected during redevelopment works, traffic signs will be put up to guide road users during the construction.

Subsequent Phases of Redevelopment 

12.         The subsequent phases of WCP redevelopment, subject to further design studies, will include building clearance facilities on both acquired and reclaimed land, as well as retrofitting the current WCP. More details will be announced once the further studies are completed.  

13.         ICA will continue to leverage technology and develop innovative solutions to facilitate cross-border travel and trade, while keeping our borders secure. 

29 JANUARY 2024

[2] In 2017, ICA and the Singapore Land Authority jointly announced that an extension of WCP will be built at the OWTC. In 2022, ICA announced that the BKE will be extended and enhanced to channel traffic directly to and from the OWTC extension. In the same media release, ICA also announced the acquisition of Housing and Development Board (HDB) properties in Marsiling Crescent and Marsiling Lane as part of its plan to expand WCP beyond OWTC.