SINGAPORE - A new pedestrian bridge now links Merlion Park to the waterfront promenade in front of the Esplanade, having opened ahead of schedule to accommodate the crowds for founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's funeral procession on March 29.
The bridge is many years in the making, with plans for it first announced in 2009 and construction beginning in 2012.
In a blog post on Tuesday, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan noted that the construction of such a bridge had been suggested by the late Mr Lee himself, during a 2004 visit to Marina Bay.
"He had observed that the walkway along Esplanade Bridge was too narrow, and he thought that a friendlier connection should be provided," said Mr Khaw.
The bridge was meant to be open to the public from April, but its opening was brought forward to cope with the crowds who lined the existing Esplanade Bridge - which the new bridge runs alongside - to bid farewell to Mr Lee last Sunday.
The 220m curved pedestrian bridge forms part of the 3.5 km waterfront promenade around Marina Bay, affording panoramic views.
It will remain open and will be officially launched in November as the Jubilee Bridge, to commemorate Singapore's 50th birthday.
"As we use this new pedestrian bridge to enjoy Marina Bay, let's reflect on the vision and the hard work of Mr Lee and our founding generation," said Mr Khaw.