Singapore Through The Ages

The Causeway

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The Singapore Johore Causeway was constructed in the early 1920s, to provide a more efficient link between Singapore island and mainland Malaya. It was opened to traffic in 1923.

Initially, the causeway was shared by a single track railway, and a single carriageway road. Not long afterwards a water pipeline was added. As Singapore's population increased it became increasingly dependent on Malayan water.

Before the war the causeway didn't change much, being quite adequate for the traffic on offer. From the 1960s onwards the causeway was gradually widened to take increased traffic and water, and today it is a multi-lane highway, always jammed with vehicles queuing for the customs posts at either end of the crossing.

The causeway's days may be numbered. There is already an alternative crossing - a suspension bridge - and proposals have been made to replace the causeway with a bridge. Petty politics have prevented progress. Singapore and Malaysia rarely agree about anything, and there is even a wacky scheme to replace the Malaysian side of the causeway with a bridge that joins the Singapore half of the causeway in the middle of the Straits.

Click on any image to see an enlargement.

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