MEGASTORE shopping just got safer, easier and more convenient for Pasir Ris West residents, with a new overhead bridge that was officially opened yesterday.
The $3.5 million bridge, spanning 340m, links the 60,000 residents in 191 blocks to the trio of superstores - furniture store Ikea, hypermarket Giant and electronics store Courts - across the Tampines Expressway (TPE).
Residents had raised their concerns about safety and connectivity about two years ago when the stores were being constructed, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC. He was the guest of honour at yesterday's opening.
In order to get to the superstores, which see 80,000 or so visitors every week, residents had to make a long detour and cross a major intersection where cars turn out of or into the expressway - usually at high speed.
Even employees who work at the store sometimes complained about the inconvenience, said Ikea Tampines' deputy store manager Lars Svensson.
'They wanted to go over to Pasir Ris to eat meals, and you could see it (Pasir Ris) in clear sight across the road. But getting there was too difficult,' he said.
So the area's grassroots leaders, the Land Transport Authority and the stores worked together to make it happen.
Said Mr Teo: 'Major roads like this one (the TPE) can divide communities...
'With this bridge, residents get more convenience, without the congestion of the shops being in the middle of the town.'
He added that it was part of a larger plan to improve services and connectivity for Pasir Ris residents. Other recent improvements included bicycle tracks and pathways in the housing estate.
A pedestrian crossing within the shopping district was also officially opened at the same event yesterday.
Source: Today, 24 Aug 2009