Wildlife bridge ready by year-end

The 62m-long ecolink will be closed to the public for the first few years to minimise the disturbance to wildlife.

SINGAPORE - A $17 million bridge for monkeys and other wildlife is on track to be completed by the end of the year, the National Parks Board (NParks) and the Land Transport Authority confirmed on Wednesday.

Structural works for the Eco-Link@BKE are almost done, and the site is now being prepared for the planting of trees.

The 62m-long overhead bridge will reconnect Singapore's largest primary and secondary forests, the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Central Catchment Area. Both forests have been separated by the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) since 1986, leaving animals like rare banded leaf monkeys cut off from their fellow monkeys on the other side.

"The bridge is a boon for biodiversity," said conservationist Alan Ow Yong.

When ready, it will allow animals such as flying squirrels, palm civets and pangolins an easy way to cross the BKE.

"Animals will be able to move freely between the two reserves to find other food sources as well as mates. They will also help to propagate plant species as seeds are dispersed by more animals," Mr Ow explained yesterday.

Trees planted on the bridge will also provide food for animals, NParks said. The public will not be allowed onto the bridge in the first few years, to reduce the disturbance to the wildlife.

The eco-link is situated about 600m north of Rifle Range Road, between the Pan-Island Expressway and Dairy Farm exits.

kashc@sph.com.sg

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