Woodlands Checkpoint extension to be built at Old Woodlands Town Centre
Vehicles travel along the causeway between Singapore and Malaysia (top) at the Woodlands Checkpoint in Singapore. Reuters

Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) jointly announced on Thursday that an extension of the Woodlands Checkpoint will be built at the Old Woodlands Town Centre as part of efforts to upgrade the checkpoint.

In order to build the extension, the authorities would acquire two lots of private land, within the town centre, that are located immediately to the east of the current checkpoint. On Thursday, SLA gazetted the land for acquisition and said it will assist affected owners and tenants throughout the acquisition process.

ICA and SLA said in the joint news release that the extension will increase the overall clearance capacity and enhance security at the checkpoint. "Since the opening of WCP (Woodlands Checkpoint) in 1999, traveler and vehicle volumes through WCP have been increasing over the years while the security threat has heightened significantly. The WCP has to be upgraded to meet growing traffic needs and ensure that immigration clearance remains secure," the press release said.

According to ICA, it will conduct a feasibility study to determine the optimal design of the extension and the full extent of upgrading and redevelopment works required.

The Housing & Development Board earmarked the Old Woodlands Town Centre for redevelopment under the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme in June 2012. The centre has housed a cinema, bus interchange, hawker centre and retail shops in its heyday.

Both ICA and SLA said upgrading works will be progressively carried out at the existing Woodlands Checkpoint without compromising checkpoint operations.