Bedok: History

11 April 2007

Siglap Estate
Siglap means "concealing darkness" in Malay with a legend of a Malay sea captain who landed on the beach during a thunderstorm, which can certainly be concealing.

Before the East Coast Reclamation, Siglap at the southern coast of Bedok was a vast coconut plantation owned by the Frankel Brothers. Known as Siglap Estate, the estate stretched from the beach to Changi Road and the narrow Siglap Road wind through it from Upper East Coast Road. Subsequently, the Frankel Brothers developed their land for residential, resulting in the construction of Frankel Estate, Opera Estate and Seaside Park neighbourhoods.

East Coast Reclamation
Following a successful pilot project carried out by Housing & Development Board (HDB) in 1963 when 48 acres of land were reclaimed at Bayshore, the Board was directed by the Government to investigate the possibility of extending the reclamation to Tanjong Rhu. Extensive surveys and test bores were carried out during 1964 to determine the quantity of fill material available in the area and the condition of the sea bed.

Within a period of five ears, 405ha of 9km long foreshore from Bedok to Fort Road (Phase 1 Reclamation) and 52.7ha of 1.6km long foreshore from Fort Road to the tip of Tanjong Rhu were successfully completed in 1970 and 1971 respectively. 23 million cubic metres of earth from Bedok Plain were used to achieve this large-scale reclamation using automatic bucketwheel excavators. The soil was then transported by belt conveyors and deposited into the sea by a spreader. A new method of shore protection by placing a series of breakwaters along the low water line to dissipate the wave energy before it reaches the sedimentary shore was adopted. This system of breakwaters has resulted in stabilising the new shore-line and in the formation of good sandy bay beaches.

Phase 3 of East Coast Reclamation comprising 66.8ha foreshore of what is now Marina Centre began in March 1971. Materials needed for Phase 3 reclamation was discharged onto hopper or flat top barges through specially designed swinging conveyors supported on a jetty extending 152.4m from the existing shoreline at Bedok reclaimed land. The hopper barges were either self-propelled or towed by tugboats from Bedok to Tanjong Rhu. Materials were then dumped directly onto a dredged basin within the reclaimed area. The material deposited was dredged by a suction cutter dredger and spread immediately behind the constructed stone bund through floated pipes and land pipes.

Phase 4 reclamation involved the reclamation of 485ha of land from Bedok to Tanah Merah Besar began in June 1971. Filling materials required for Phase 3 and 4 was obtained from hills adjacent to Bedok New Town north of the defunct Upper Changi Road. The cut depression is later transform into Bedok Reservoir.

Bedok New Town
In 1972, HDB decided to develop the cut area for the East Coast Reclamation Phase 1 and 2. Bedok New Town is planned as an extension of Upper Changi Estate.

Bedok New Town is conditioned by the flat terrain caused by cutted hills and the existing topography of some high ground. Bedok is also planned to be a self-contained town relating to the overall island road network and distribution of population.

In order to have a more efficient road network, the existing windy Upper Changi Road is demolished. It is replaced with a straight new road, New Upper Changi Road, constructed across the site.

Bedok New Town proves to be extremely popular. Hence the town was extended twice, with the addition of Neighbourhood 6 and Neighbourhood 7 respectively.

Adjustment in accordance to the Metric System
Like the previous 4 new towns, Bedok New Town was planned on the neighbourhood concept. Due to the success of the metric dimensions design system introduced in Ang Mo Kio, Bedok underwent major adjustment in planning, including street naming, road alignment, neighbourhood boundaries and block numbering.

Starting with Neighbourhood 4, blocks of flats are numbered in the new metric basis. This is different from the first 3 neighbourhoods, which blocks of flats numbered in the traditional continuous basis. However, there is an exception for the Town Centre, which is numbered in the 200 series, despite being located in Neighbourhood 4.

Roads are realigned and renamed in accordance with the metric system.
"Bedok Plain" is renamed as "Bedok South Road".
"Bedok Highway" is renamed as "Bedok South Avenue 1" and will not continue across New Upper Changi Road. The northern portion of "Bedok Highway" that was disrupted by New Upper Changi Road is renamed as "Bedok North Avenue 2".
"Bedok Walk" is renamed as "Bedok South Avenue 2".
"Bedok View" is renamed as "Bedok South Avenue 3".
"Bedok Drive" is renamed as "Bedok North Road" and instead of bending southwards to join Bedok South Road, it will continue northward. The western portion that was supposed to join Bedok South Road is renamed as "Bedok North Avenue 1".
"Bedok Place" is renamed as "Bedok North Avenue 3".

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