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Big Splash, which had been closed down in November 2016

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Marine Cove, which is renovated from 2012 to 2016.

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Road Safety Park and Underground Racing Centre

East Coast Park (Chinese: 东海岸公园; Template:Lang-ms; Tamil: கிழக்கு கடற்கரை பூங்கா) is a beach park encompassing the planning areas of Marine Parade, Bedok and Tampines, along the southeastern coast of Singapore. It was opened in the 1970s, when the government completed reclaiming land off the coast at Katong which extends from Changi to Kallang. It serves various seaside communities such as Kallang, Marine Parade and Bedok.

The 185 hectare East Coast Park is the largest park in Singapore, and is built entirely on reclaimed land with a man-made beach, where swimming is possible. The beach is protected by breakwaters.

The park has barbecue pits, chalets, food centres and amenities for various sports activities. Visitors can fish at Bedok Jetty (Area F). A cycling and inline skating track runs along the perimeter of the park, which measures over 15 km long. It is connected to Changi Beach Park by the Coastal Park Connector Network, a 12 km park connector running along Tanah Merah Coast Road.

HistoryEdit

Initial plans and developmentEdit

East Coast Park was first proposed as part of plans for the utilisation of land land reclaimed as part of the East Coast Reclamation Project.[1] Initial plans for the park included a Template:Convert swimming lagoon, areas for camping and picnicking, and outdoor sports facilities such as tennis courts. Development work commenced in the middle of 1971, and the park, although still under development, was opened to the public in October 1972, in order to alleviate some of the pressure on the Changi and Tanah Merah beaches on weekends and public holidays.[2] Construction on a $12 million, Template:Convert seaside holiday resort began in September 1974[3] and a dedicated cycling track was opened for public use at the end of that year.[4]

The S$4 million swimming lagoon was opened in May 1976, along with refreshment and sanitation facilities.[5] Upon its opening, the lagoon immediately became popular with swimmers and picnickers, with over 70,000 people visiting in the first week.[6] To provide access between the park and nearby areas, six underpasses were constructed at a cost of S$1 million.[7]

In January 1977, plans to build a Template:Convert aquatic centre to complement the lagoon were announced.[8] The Singapore Tennis Centre, located in the park, was opened in March that year.[9] Plans for a 1200-seat food centre near the lagoon were announced in April,[10] and the first batch of the Housing and Urban Development Company's (HUDC) chalets were opened in May, with the rest following soon after.[11] Plans for a seafood centre in the park, with five seafood restaurants from Upper East Coast Road were also announced that year.[12]

The $6 million aquatic centre, named 'Big Splash', was opened in July 1977. It featured an 85-metre long slide, which was claimed to be the world's longest and highest, and an artificial wave pool, as well as food outlets.[13] Nevertheless, the aquatic centre suffered from poor business and low patronage, costing $2 million a year to operate, so the initial operator sold it to the Singapore Industrial Business Organisation (SILO) for $4.3 million the next year.[14]

In August 1978, the Parkland Golf Driving Range, the first one in Singapore, opened its doors in the park.[15] Due to high demand for the chalets, the Urban Redevelopment Authority constructed 59 additional two-storey chalets, twice as large as the previous ones, for the HUDC in 1979.[16] Costing $2.5 million, the chalets were opened in April 1981.[17][18]

The 1980sEdit

In 1980, as part of the government's desire to inculcate a sense of courtesy among road users, a Template:Convert, $1 million traffic games park for children, operated by the Traffic Police, was built.[19] A sailing school was also opened by the Singapore Sports Council off the lagoon in May that year.[20] The cycling track was also extended from the lagoon to Changi Point and the entire East Coast area was landscaped as parkland over two years beginning in 1981, to cope with the large number of users.[21] The East Coast Recreation Centre, built at a cost of $3.5 million, opened in 1982, with restaurants, a computer library, sports facilities, and a remote-control car track.[22] In these years, the park also had insufficient parking spaces to cope with demand, resulting in widespread illegal parking in the more popular areas. Hence, more parking spaces were built and the government put in place parking fees to encourage motorists to use other, less utilised carparks.[23] To facilitate crime prevention and public outreach, a police post was opened in the park in October 1982.[24]

Construction of what was stated to be one end of the park, a 1.2km stretch between Bedok Canal and the Tanah Merah Golf Club, began in 1983.[25] In February 1985, plans to extend the park by Template:Convert to the Bedok Canal were announced, along with additional facilities to be built within that area.[26] Later that year, in October, the $5.4 million East Coast Parkway Seafood Centre opened for business with six restaurants, with brisk business in the first few weeks of operation.[27] In order to improve access to the park, and as a result of feedback from road users, the one-way service road was converted to two-way traffic in 1986.[28] In the same year, the children's lagoon was closed due to low patronage and was filled in. A water slide was also installed at the lagoon to attract more users, to little effect.[29]

To reduce confusion, the naming system for the areas in the park was changed in 1987, with the areas being named, from A to G, from west to east.[30]

FacilitiesEdit

National Sailing CentreEdit

The National Sailing Centre, run by the Singapore Sailing Federation, conducts activities such as sailing and wind surfing.[31]

East Coast Lagoon Food CentreEdit

The East Coast Lagoon Food Centre is a hawker centre near the East Coast Lagoon.[10]

Occupying Template:Convert, the centre was constructed by the Public Works Department in 1977 at a cost of $700,000, with seating for 1,200 and 60 stalls. Constructed out of wood, the centre consisted of 10 structures, with butterfly-shaped roofs for the cooking areas and pyramid-shaped ones for the eating areas, and its design was intended to blend in with the seaside and the lagoon.[10]

In late 2013, the hawker centre was upgraded at a cost of $1.5 million. As part of the upgrade, the toilets were renovated and the seating capacity increased. Roofing and wooden floors were also installed.[32]

East Coast Seafood CentreEdit

The East Coast Seafood Centre was opened at the same time as the East Coast Park, with eight restaurants serving seafood. Its initial name was UDMC Seafood Centre, which was later changed in 2000 to its current name. Popularized for housing several major local seafood restaurants, the seafood centre serves local favourites such as chilli crab, black pepper crab and mee goreng. In 2005, the Seafood Centre was upgraded to give it a modernised look, and better facilities. Many of the features were revamped, and a number of old tenants vacated for new tenants to take their place.

Plans for the seafood centre were first announced in July 1977, with five seafood restaurants from Upper East Coast Road.[12] The owners of the restaurants were initially unhappy with the offer to move, citing reduced seating and patronage at the new site.[33] In response, the Ministry of National Development claimed that with the offer, they were helping them by allowing them to continue business permanently, since the restaurants were then operating on a temporary basis.[34]

In September 1980, revised plans for the seafood centre were announced, with room for eight seafood restaurants and located near the lagoon.[35] Eventually, the seafood centre, with space for eight restaurants, was constructed near the swimming lagoon at a cost of $5 million, due to frequent complaints by residents in the Upper East Coast Road area over illegal parking by restaurant customers. Tenders for the restaurants were called in February 1985.[36]

After renovations, the first six restaurants at the seafood centre opened for business in October 1985. For these restaurants, business was generally better than at their old premises, with restaurant owners noting increased takings, and their patrons were also satisfied with the new location. However, there was also much unhappiness among restaurant owners and customers over the inconvenience of the seafood centre.[27]

Marine CoveEdit

Marine Cove (formerly known as the East Coast Recreation Centre), is a building complex in Area C at East Coast Park where in the past, many cafés, restaurants, and bars were located. It also used to have a bowling alley and a billiards saloon.

There is a McDonald's restaurant in Marine Cove, opened in the 1980s. It featured both a drive-thru and a "skate-thru" counter. It was closed in March 2012 for the area's redevelopment.

The new Marine Cove featuring a greater variety of dining options and a 3,500sqm children's playground at the redeveloped facility, reopened on 28 June 2016.[37][38]

Bedok JettyEdit

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Bedok Jetty

Bedok Jetty is the longest fishing jetty (250 m) in Singapore. It is located in Area F of East Coast Park.

It is the most popular jetty for fishing in Singapore, but it is also frequented by cyclists, rollerbladers, joggers or park visitors since it is a part of East Coast Park.

Bedok Jetty was originally built by a local businessman Mr Yap Swee Hong at a cost of $1.5m in 1966. He did this to facilitate the import of scrap metal from the Americans who were engaged in the Vietnam war at the time. It was built in the reclaimed land of East Coast under the East Coast reclamation. It was used by Singapore Armed Forces in 1975 to receive the refugees after the surrender of Saigon to the North Vietnamese forces. An SAF Field Hospital was deployed to Bedok Jetty to provide first aid and other essential medical services to all Singapore bound refugee boats fleeing South Vietnam following the Fall of Saigon in 1975.

In the 1980s, the jetty became popular among fishing enthusiasts. However, by 1988, the jetty was in a poor state, with The Straits Times noting its corroded railings and cracked support beams. In March that year, the Public Works Department closed the jetty for a $1.1 million facelift, consisting of repairs to the jetty's deck and supports.[39]

The area is also used temporarily for military training exercises from 2010 to 2017 before it was acquired for redevelopments in Bayshore area.

Siglap CanalEdit

Located near Area C4, a new lawn and lookout deck in East Coast Park was opened to provide visitors with an additional area for recreational activities as well as a community space. The enhancements were carried out with drainage upgrading for a 230m section of the Siglap Canal to the sea.

Parkland GreenEdit

Parkland Green is a Template:Convert cluster of restaurants, cafes and shops next to Carpark C1.

Parkland Green opened to much fanfare in September 2014, and in its first few months of operation, experienced high footfall, especially on weekends. However, with the imposition of parking fees for its carpark and the opening of Marine Cove in June 2016, customer numbers and revenues sharply decreased in the second half of 2016.[12]

Underground Racing CentreEdit

Underground Racing Centre is an attraction that is meant for their drifting, which is co-located with the Road Safety Park, under the Need for Speed Underground 2 and Hot Pursuit video gaming. This has been introduced since February 2008 (Primary 5).

Transportation Edit

The park is accessible by East Coast Park Service Road with numerous exits along the East Coast Parkway. The place provides ample parking space with many carparks situated along various areas of the park. SBS Bus Service 401 stops along the East Coast Service Road from Bedok Bus Interchange during weekends and public holidays. Underpasses link the park to the nearby Marine Parade housing estate.

East Coast Park Service RoadEdit

East Coast Park Service Road is a road in Singapore that runs along the northern perimeter of East Coast Park and parallel to East Coast Parkway. It provides an alternative for Marine Parade Road, Fort Road and East Coast Parkway to the park. Some cyclists use this road compared to 11km of the East Coast Park.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  29. {{cite news |last=Loh |first=Tuan Lee title=Lagoon visits at a low tide |url=http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/newpaper19881011-1.2.5.7 |work=New Paper |location=Singapore |date=11 October 1988 |accessdate=12 November 2019 |via=NewspaperSG |page=5 }
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External linksEdit

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