THE underpass between Orchard Road MRT station and Tangs Plaza, widely used by pedestrians in Singapore's premium shopping belt, will be broadened to twice its current width of 5m by early 2014.

This will be its first major makeover since its opening in 1988, with shops lining both sides of the underpass after work is completed.

The project, initially set to finish by late 2013, was rescheduled because the shops were added to the tender.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said Australian engineering company McConnell Dowell would carry out the $36 million project.

It added that the underpass will remain open and accessible to all users throughout the construction period.

Work began earlier this month with the area outside Ion Orchard, which sits on top of the MRT station facing Orchard Road, boarded up.

Tangs underpass gets upgrade