Changes to city roads to ease jams on Singapore's new Marina Coastal Expressway

Motorists complained Monday morning of heavy jams and confusion on the newly-opened Marina Coastal Expressway. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Chew)

 [UPDATE: on 31 December, 10:15am: Local media report that the LTA has moved to "immediately convert" the two-lane Central Boulevard stretch behind Marina Bay Financial Centre in order to "enable better traffic into and along Central Boulevard towards Shenton Way". It will also be posting more temporary signs to alert motorists of route network changes, and continue to deploy traffic wardens to assist drivers.]

In its first two days of opening, motorists in Singapore have had more than a few things to say about the country's new Marina Coastal Expressway -- not all of them positive.

Many took to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, posting about their experiences and confusion and warning other drivers to avoid veering toward it.

Users such as Nick Goh, who commented on Yahoo Singapore's Facebook page, said their travel times from the Eastern part of Singapore to its central business district were multiplied several-fold, while others said road signs were not clear, with different speed limits on different sections of the highway.

Others said the routes leading out of the MCE, in particular at the Marina South area, were confusing and too narrow, and unprepared for the large amounts of traffic exiting it, with heavy jams occurring on Central and Marina Boulevard even on Sunday afternoon.

However, motorists travelling westward gave more positive feedback, sharing that their travel time was reduced and traffic was much smoother.

We've put together what motorists have said about the MCE so far here:

While not directly responding to the issues raised by motorists on Monday morning, the LTA said it observed slow-moving traffic along Central and Marina Boulevard, attributing it to motorists not being "entirely familiar with how to enter (the) MCE".

"With the road network changes, motorists travelling from ECP should exit at Exit 14B to enter MCE, instead of continuing on ECP," the spokesperson said.

He also told Yahoo Singapore that temporary signage has been erected "at key approaches" to remind motorists of route changes. The LTA has also deployed traffic wardens to assist in directing traffic.

Three further notes for drivers from the LTA:

Firstly, motorists travelling between the KPE / ECP and the AYE should use the MCE, as it will serve as the main expressway connecting traffic travelling between the east and the west.
 
Secondly, motorists travelling between AYE / ECP / KPE and the CBD can use the MCE to connect directly via Marina Boulevard and Central Boulevard. Depending on their destinations, motorists can also use other arterial roads.
 
Thirdly, with the ECP ending west of Benjamin Sheares Bridge, motorists can continue to use the new arterial road, Sheares Avenue, to enter the CBD from ECP.