The Woodlands Road heavy vehicle traffic jam

Had the tides been favourable I would have visited Mandai mangroves on a weekend instead but the (almost) full moon beckoned and time and tide wait for no one, so we’d have to make the best of it.

So I headed out to Mandai mangroves with Dan’s class on Thursday evening. The bus driver, Mr Koh and I chatted about the delays near the causeway. With the manhunt for Mas Selamat Kastari still in full force, we had both heard that Woodlands Road towards the causeway was almost at a standstill. An the causeway itself was no joke – a friend of Ladybug’s was stuck in the jam from 9pm to past 1am. She had been returning home and though the causeway would be clear at 9pm!

The intense search they are conducting is all the more important with lorries and trucks as these vehicles all sorts of nooks and crannies; this is not a good time for illegal immigrants as they’ve recruited even more manpower! Still, loads of trucks ply the causeway every night and a bumper to bumper jam was unavoidable.

The jams are reminiscent of Woodland’s Road in the 90’s – to beat the jam, we’d drop off on the opposite side of the road heading towards Bukit Timah. This “opposite side” was not crowded and we’d just walk across to out destination.

Mr Koh and I decided we’d head down the BKE and try that old trick. The traffic flow in the BKE was tolerable until we neared the exit to Woodlands Ave 3. there we saw the beginnings of a jam in the distance. I roused myself out of my conversation with Dan and Stan and pondered – Mr Koh came to a halt just behind the divider and said I had a minute to decide if we’d continue down the BKE.

Looking ahead, I saw people already getting off their buses to start walking to the causeway! So we veered off into Woodlands Ave 3 and decided to hop off at Kranji MRT instead. Dan was upbeat as usual and said the exercise would be good. So we briskwalked, smelling a ripe porta-loo or two along way!

When we came out of the mangroves, we met some lads from 2SIR who were patrolling in the environs. I chatted with them, the petrol station attendant and hung out with the dogs while the class washed up. Then we headed out by foot back to Kranji MRT. I switched to walking in between them as there was no pavement where we started from.

It was a familiar scene as I’d had to do this more then once in the 90’s. Most of the drivers had turned off their engines to cut down on the fumes. Many had brought dinner along, which meant the road would be strewn with trash the next morning! I also heard music music and chatter in at several languages as I walked though what was looking like a trailer graveyard.

Down this road, Mas Selamat Kastari has no fans. The truck drivers aren’t making money when their vehicles are stationary.


Walking between the trucks, I hear drivers chatting, radios and glistening trucks,
all stationary under the yellow street lights.

“Take photo, ah? For what?” “Blogging,” says Dan. And the driver nods.
Later Dan is amused by the appearance of a sidewalk and a zebra crossing!

Duke students regroup for a head count before crossing over to Kranji MRT