Know more about Singapore's new Jubilee Bridge and older iconic bridges

SINGAPORE - On Sunday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong posted on his Facebook page, a photo of the new Jubilee Bridge, which was opened to the public on March 29, a month earlier than planned.

The bridge is part of a trail that highlights Singapore's history, and was built to celebrate Singapore's Golden Jubilee in 2015.

Mr Lee wrote: "The existing Esplanade Bridge was too narrow for pedestrians. Now with the Jubilee Bridge, pedestrians can stroll comfortably across the Singapore River."

More on the Jubilee Bridge and nine other iconic bridges in Singapore here:

1) Jubilee Bridge

Dw bridges jubilee 150406

The building of the new Jubilee Bridge to give pedestrians barrier-free access between the Merlion Park and the promenade in front of the Esplanade was announced in October 2014. The bridge will be part of an 8km commemorative walkway called the Jubilee Walk.

The walking trail, which highlights Singapore's history, will be launched as part of the celebrations for Singapore's 50th birthday in 2015. The bridge was opened on March 29, 2015, a month earlier than planned, on the day of a state funeral procession for Singapore's late founding father Lee Kuan Yew. The move was to "help facilitate pedestrian movement during the state funeral procession", the Urban Redevelopment Authority said then.

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan, in a blog post last month, said it was the late Mr Lee himself who had suggested the construction of the bridge during a visit to Marina Bay in 2004. "He had observed that the walkway along Esplanade Bridge was too narrow, and he thought that a friendlier connection should be provided," Mr Khaw said.

2) Esplanade Bridge

Dw bridges esplanade 150406

The Esplanade Bridge was built when Anderson Bridge could not cope with increasing traffic. It cuts in front of the Fullerton Waterboat House and the Merlion Park, connecting the Fullerton area to the Marina Centre. Esplanade Drive runs across the bridge.

After it was built and opened to the public in 1997, there were concerns that the Merlion could not be seen from the Marina Bay waterfront. In 2002, the Merlion was relocated to the other side of the Esplanade Bridge so it could be seen. Since 2008, the Esplanade Bridge and Anderson Bridge form part of the F1 Marina Bay Street Circuit.

3) Helix Bridge

Dw bridges helix 150406

Helix Bridge, the longest pedestrian bridge in Singapore, overlooks Marina Bay. The bridge has a double helix structure modelled on the structure of DNA. Plans for the bridge were announced in March 2006, and it opened partially in April 2010. It was fully operational in July 2010.

Helix Bridge is 280m long, but the total length of the stainless steel tubes that make up the double helix structure is almost 10 times as long if unravelled and measured.

The bridge costs an estimated $68 million in total. Helix Bridge provides quick access to Marina Bay Sands for pedestrians who are walking from the Esplanade and the City Hall area.

At the same time, a walk along the bridge provides unparalleled views of the city skyline. Five viewing pods extended from the bridge were built for visitors to take in the view. The bridge also provides a good vantage point to watch fireworks and pyrotechnics during special events such as the National Day celebrations.

4) Elgin Bridge

Dw bridges elgin 150406

In 1863, the iron bridge originally named Thomson's Bridge was renamed Elgin Bridge, after Lord James Bruce Elgin, the Governor-General of India from 1862-1863, the 8th Earl of Elgin.

This first Elgin bridge was widened in 1870 but later demolished in the 1920s to make way for the second Elgin Bridge, built between 1926 and 1929. It was opened to traffic on May 30, 1929.

The Elgin Bridge stands in the place of the bridge that was erected in Singapore in 1819. In November 1822, a wooden footbridge called Presentment Bridge, also known as Monkey Bridge, replaced that original crossing. Two underpasses were built below the bridge by September 1992. They lead to South Bridge Road. In Hokkien and Cantonese, it is called the "iron suspension bridge".

5) Anderson Bridge

Dw bridges anderson 150406

Between 1908 and 1910, Anderson Bridge was built to cope with the city's growing vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and to take the load off Cavenagh Bridge.

The Anderson Bridge was built when Cavenagh Bridge proved too low for vessels during high tide. Anderson Bridge crosses the mouth of the Singapore River and connects Empress Place and Collyer Quay. It was named after Governor Sir John Anderson, commander-in-chief of the Straits Settlements. He declared it open in 1910. Anderson Bridge was refurbished in 1987.

6) Cavenagh Bridge

Dw bridges cavenagh 150406

The Cavenagh Bridge is named after Sir Lieutenant General William Orfeur Cavenagh, the last governor of the Straits Settlements - the British territories that included Singapore during colonial times.

The bridge was built in 1868 and is the oldest bridge across the Singapore River. It was the last major work of the Indian convicts based in Singapore.Its steel structure was shipped out from Glasgow, Scotland, and assembled in Singapore.

Cavenagh Bridge was restored in 1987 to strengthen its structure. As late as 1983, the bumboats travelling the river had to wait for low tide before making their way under the bridge. The bridge was deemed too low for vessels during high tide. It connected the Commercial Square - which is the current Raffles Place - to the government quarter then.

7) Coleman Bridge

Dw bridges coleman 150406

Located in the central region of the Singapore River area, Coleman Bridge was completed in 1840. It connects Hill Street to New Bridge Road.

It is named after the designer of the first Coleman Bridge, George D. Coleman, who was also the first superintendent of the Public Works Department and Singapore's first architect.

The initial bridge has been replaced by three others that were built in 1865, 1886 and 1990. The latest and biggest Coleman Bridge was completed in 1990 as part of the New Bridge Road Widening Scheme.

Initially named "New Bridge", this third three-lane bridge was once one of Singapore's most elegant bridges with graceful shallow arches, decorative columns, ornamental gas lamp stands and intricate iron balustrades.

8) Read Bridge

Dw bridges read 150406

Located over the central part of the Singapore River, it was opened by Governor Clementi Smith officially in 1889, and named after political and social activist, and merchant William H. Read.

Mr Read laid the first cylinder for the bridge in 1887. The nearby Read Street is also named after him. Read Bridge replaced an earlier bridge, Merchant Bridge, to allow bumboats to pass under it.

In the early 1990s, the Government spent $8.4 million to rebuild the present Read Bridge. As it was located where the original "Malacca Village" had stood, it is also called the Malacca Bridge in Malay, Cantonese and Hokkien.

9) Ord Bridge

Dw bridges ord 150406

The Ord Bridge, completed in 1886, was named after Colonel Sir Harry St. George Ord, British Governor of the Straits Settlements. The pedestrian bridge with rectangular steel trusses on either side replaced an older footbridge known as the ABC Bridge, which was completed in 1864.

Before it was converted into a pedestrian bridge, Ord Road used to run on it, connecting Magazine Road Boat Quay and Clarke Quay.

Today, "Ord" is also coincidentally an abbreviation used by full-time national servicemen to indicate that they have finished their two years of service. This apparently made the bridge a regular haunt for men ending their service.

10) Benjamin Sheares Bridge

Dw bridges sheares 150406

Named in honour of the second President of Singapore - Benjamin Sheares - the 1.8km-long bridge spans the Kallang Basin and the Singapore River. It is a highway that forms part of the East Coast Parkway, linking Keppel Road or Shenton Way junction to Marina Centre.

It cost $109.8 million to build, and was opened on September 26. 1981. It was the longest and most elevated bridge built by the then-Public Works Department.

In Dec 2013, the bridge was downgraded from an expressway to an arterial road with the opening of the Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE).

Sources: National Library Board Infopedia, lostnfiledsg.wordpress.com

jalmsab@sph.com.sg