Update of news and articles on Bukit Brown

August 2013

Todayonline  Aug 6, 2013

Exhumation of Bukit Brown graves to start in Oct 
By SIAU MING EN


SINGAPORE — Almost two years after the project was announced, public exhumation of graves at the Bukit Brown Cemetery will begin from October this year to make way for the construction of a new dual four-lane road that connects MacRitchie Viaduct to Adam Flyover.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority said this yesterday, following the award of a tender for the construction of the new road to Swee Hong Limited for S$134.7 million.

The LTA has received 1,263 claims for the affected graves — about a quarter of the total number to be exhumed in place of the new road — and next-of-kin will be contacted to make further arrangements for exhumation.

“Construction of the new road will begin in stages after exhumation of the affected graves is completed,” said the joint statement.

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Plans for the new road were announced in September 2011, aimed at easing the peak-hour congestion currently experienced along Lornie Road and the Pan-Island Expressway, as well as to cater to the expected growth in traffic in the area.

The Bukit Brown site has been earmarked for future housing.

The road project sparked off a series of calls from heritage and nature groups to preserve the cemetery, which is about 90 years old.

A working committee, formed in October 2011 to document and research the history behind the cemetery, has completed the documentation of all 4,153 affected graves.

The LTA said it will assess claims on unclaimed graves on a case-by-case basis. Otherwise, the remains would be cremated, the ashes kept by the authority for three years, before they are scattered at sea.

Once the exhumation of the affected graves is completed, construction work for the new road will begin. The road is to be completed by the end of 2017.

“While construction is ongoing, the public can continue to enter other parts of Bukit Brown Cemetery that are not affected by the road construction. Details of the access routes will be made available to the public when construction starts,” said the authorities.

ST News
Aug 06, 2013

Work on Bukit Brown road set to begin next year

Construction to start once affected graves are exhumed
By Jermyn Chow


Volunteer guides leading visitors on a walk at Bukit Brown cemetery on a recent Saturday afternoon. Anthropologist Hui Yew-Foong will lead a team to follow families that are exhuming their ancestral graves. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG



WORK on the controversial new road that cuts through Bukit Brown cemetery will start as early as the beginning of next year after the affected graves are exhumed.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday that it had awarded a tender to local contractor Swee Hong to build the dual four-lane road at a cost of $134.7 million.

The estimated 2km stretch, which will link the MacRitchie Viaduct to the Adam Flyover, is meant to ease peak-hour congestion on Lornie Road and the Pan-Island Expressway.

The road is expected to be completed by the end of 2017, a year after its initial 2016 projection.

The LTA also said that 4,153 of the 100,000 graves at Bukit Brown will be exhumed from the fourth quarter of this year, a deadline which was pushed back from April.

It has already received 1,263 claims for graves, while the rest that would be affected by the new road or are in its vicinity, have been documented by a committee led by anthropologist Hui Yew-Foong.

He will next lead a 10-man team to follow families that are exhuming their ancestral graves.

When contacted yesterday, Dr Hui, who is with the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and the appointed documentarian of Bukit Brown cemetery, said: "We want to record the rituals or ceremonies that are conducted before the exhumation so that we can preserve the memories, heritage and traditions."

He and his team are also looking to record all artefacts that may be unearthed, like jewellery, bangles or miniature pots.

Construction of the road was first announced in 2011, sparking an intense debate between heritage and nature groups and the Government.

Instead of laying a road flat on the ground through the cemetery, the LTA has already agreed to build a 600m-long bridge to allow wildlife to cross beneath the carriageway.

Dr Chua Ai Lin, vice-president of the Singapore Heritage Society, believes the Government has "done all it can" to reduce the impact of the new road on wildlife and heritage sites.

She also commended the authorities for giving families and researchers more time to document the graves.

She added: "But there were alternatives that were not relooked and that was a missed opportunity for us to prevent irreversible impact on the environment and heritage."

jermync@sph.com.sg

Monday, Aug 05, 2013

The Straits Times

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded a tender to build a new road linking Adam Road, the MacRitchie Viaduct and Thomson Road via Bukit Brown Cemetery at a cost of $134.7 million. The winner of the tender is local contractor Swee Hong, which is expected to complete construction by end 2017.


To make way for the road, public exhumation of affected graves will begin from the fourth quarter of this year. LTA has received 1,263 claims for affected graves. 

Here is the joint press release from LTA and URA:

Tender to Construct New Road across Bukit Brown Awarded

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded a tender to Swee Hong Limited for the construction of a new dual four-lane road connecting MacRitchie Viaduct to Adam Flyover via Bukit Brown Cemetery.

Announced in September 2011, the new road, which includes a bridge over existing streams, will alleviate the congestion currently experienced along Lornie Road and the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) during peak hours as well as cater to expected growth in traffic demand. The tender will be awarded at a contract value of $134.7 million.

Public exhumation of affected graves to begin from Q4 2013

With the award of the tender, public exhumation of the graves affected by the road works will begin from 4th Quarter 2013. Since details of the affected graves were published in March 2012, LTA has received a total of 1,263 claims for affected graves.

LTA will be contacting the next-of-kin of affected graves who had registered their claims to make arrangements for exhumation.

Construction of the new road will begin in stages after exhumation of the affected graves is completed. While construction is ongoing, members of the public can continue to enter other parts of Bukit Brown Cemetery that are not affected by the road construction. Details of the access routes will be made available to the public when construction starts. The new road is planned to be completed by end 2017.

Update on documentation efforts

In view of the heritage value of Bukit Brown Cemetery, the government had commissioned the documentation of graves affected by the new road. A Working Committee formed in October 2011 has completed the documentation of 4,153 graves that would be affected by or are in the vicinity of the new road. Led by Dr Hui Yew-Foong, the Working Committee will continue to research and document the social history, memories, and rituals associated with Bukit Brown Cemetery.

Members of the public can visit the project website at www.bukitbrown.info for more information on the graves. The website currently contains a visual database of the graves that would be affected, including photographs accompanied by Chinese and English names where available. We are currently studying various options to make these documentation findings more accessible to members of the public in future.

We will continue to work with other agencies and stakeholders to commemorate the heritage of Bukit Brown.
By Jermyn Chow

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