Why build a new overhead bridge when there is one nearby - isn’t this a waste of funds?

    30 Jul 2013 |

A recent online posting ,“A Painful Waste of Public Money”, viewed the construction of a new sheltered overhead bridge about 20 metres from an existing unsheltered overhead bridge at Lor 6 Toa Payoh as a waste of public funds.

The posting said that HDB could have upgraded the existing overhead bridge and built a sheltered walkway to the bus-stop instead.

We wish to make it clear that there was no financial imprudence on HDB’s part when we made the decision to construct the new sheltered overhead bridge. In fact, there were compelling reasons to do so.

First, residents of the area and bus commuters had asked for a sheltered overhead bridge and covered walkways that link up with the existing bus stops located on both sides of the road. HDB, after careful consideration of the various facts and factors, opted to build a new overhead bridge with shelter that extends to the bus stops on both sides of the road, instead of upgrading the old unsheltered overhead bridge.

The placement of the new overhead bridge and the covered walkways also allows for a more direct connection to the bus shelters utilising the existing pavements. The shorter walking distance is an added convenience to our residents.

Second, the original overhead bridge was erected in the 1970s, some 40 years ago and after decades of physical wear and tear, it is due for replacement. The opportunity therefore presented itself for HDB to improve a public amenity and bring greater convenience for all.

Third, while the new sheltered overhead bridge is being constructed, the original overhead bridge has been left open for public use so that pedestrians will not be inconvenienced, especially in this central area of Toa Payoh, where important amenities are located. Eventually, the older bridge will be demolished.

As a government agency, HDB exercises careful stewardship of public funds. In this instance, the key consideration to build the overhead bridge was to respond to residents requests and to meet their needs. We do not share the view taken by in the on-line posting that meeting the interests of the residents is a “painful waste of public funds.”