Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Part #3: Coleman Bridge

Located in the Central Region of the Singapore River area, Coleman Bridge links Hill Street with New Bridge Road. It is named after the designer of the first Coleman Bridge, George D. Coleman, who was also the first Superintendent of Public Works and Singapore's first architect. Three other Coleman Bridges (built in 1865, 1886 and 1990 respectively) have since replaced that first structure. The latest and biggest Coleman Bridge was completed in 1990 as part of the New Bridge Road Widening Scheme.
The first Coleman Bridge was a brick structure consisting of nine arches. It was completed in 1840 under the supervision of Captain C. E. Faber. The 20 ft-wide bridge cost $8,690 to build. To cater to increased traffic between the north and south of town, this bridge was replaced in 1865 by a timber bridge, whilst retaining the name, Coleman Bridge. However, it was not well constructed and was again replaced on 10 July 1886. 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. 

It was widened in April 1986, resulting in the fourth Coleman Bridge being completed in February 1990. This bridge was part of the New Bridge Road Widening Scheme which aimed at easing traffic congestion by planning for better bus routing and bringing to completion the two-way traffic scheme from Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road via Kallang Road to the Lavender Street and Crawford Street junction. Two underpasses also allowed pedestrian access to the riverside walkways. This new twin-bridge with four lanes was built by the Public Works Department (PWD). It strove to retain as much architectural and decorative features of the 1886 iron bridge, such as the columns, lampposts and arched support. A much deeper foundation had to be sunk in to accommodate this bridge extension.

Things to take note of (Landmarks):

MICA Building
Rows of shophouses
A bungee structure
Boats along a river

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