Thursday, 2 April 2015

New Jubilee Bridge at Marina Bay opened early for Lee Kuan Yew's passing

By Janice Heng, The Straits Times, 1 Apr 2015

A NEW pedestrian bridge linking Merlion Park to the waterfront promenade in front of the Esplanade opened ahead of schedule so that it could accommodate crowds for Mr Lee Kuan Yew's funeral procession on Sunday.

The 220m-long curved bridge, which runs alongside the Esplanade bridge, had been due to open this month.

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan noted in a blog post yesterday that 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.

Plans for the bridge were announced in 2009 and construction began in 2012.

The bridge forms part of the 8km Jubilee Walk, a trail from the National Museum to Gardens by the Bay that showcases Singapore's history, and is also on the 3.5km waterfront promenade around Marina Bay.

It remains open but 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.

Have you noticed that a new pedestrian bridge at Marina Bay, which links Merlion Park to the waterfront promenade, has...
Posted by Ministry of National Development on Monday, March 30, 2015

What it took to build Jubilee Bridge
Ingenious ways had to be devised to erect Mr Lee's brainchild over water
By Janice Heng, The Straits Times, 17 Apr 2015

TO MINIMISE the impact on traffic, the new Jubilee Bridge was built from the river instead of the shore.

But building amid water presented serious challenges. Materials had to be ferried by ship and ingenious construction methods were used.

Built by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the 220m-long pedestrian bridge links the Esplanade promenade to Merlion Park.

It will be launched officially in November, but was opened last month to accommodate crowds during the funeral of the country's founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

That was "a quiet tribute" to the late Mr Lee, said the URA.

After all, the bridge was his brainchild. During a 2004 site visit to Marina Bay, he noticed that, to cross the river, pedestrians had to climb stairs up to the walkway along the Esplanade Bridge.

"Ask our engineers to think of a way to link up the two sides of the river at a lower and more pedestrian-friendly level," he told planners at the time.

The $19.7 million bridge has no steps, providing barrier-free access. It is part of the 3.5km Marina Bay waterfront loop.

Boasting a width of 6m - three times that of the the walkway at the Esplanade Bridge - it can serve as another viewing platform. It can also help with crowd dispersal during events such as the New Year's Eve fireworks display.

The bridge took a year to plan and 28 months to construct. Said URA executive civil and structural engineer Khong Zhi Cong: "Working on water has its own unique set of challenges."

Metal fences known as cofferdams were used so workers could reach the dry river bed.

To avoid the hassle of putting up scaffolding in the water, the bridge was built without such support. Segments were added, one by one, on alternating sides of a central pillar, so the whole structure was kept balanced.

#Didyouknow that there are only two main columns supporting the whole span of #JubileeBridgeSG?
Posted by Urban Redevelopment Authority on Friday, April 17, 2015

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