Merdeka Bridge

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Merdeka Bridge
Merdeka Bridge, Dec 05.JPG
Merdeka Bridge
Coordinates 1°18′16.85″N 103°52′8.9″E / 1.3046806°N 103.869139°E / 1.3046806; 103.869139
Carries 6 lanes of Nicoll Highway, pedestrians and bicycles
Crosses Kallang Basin
Locale Kallang, Singapore
Official name Merdeka Bridge
Other name(s) 独立桥 (Chinese) Jambatan Merdeka (Malay)
Maintained by CPG Corporation
Characteristics
Design Beam, Pre-stressed bridge
Material Concrete
Total length 2,000 ft (609.6 m), about 0.378 mi (0.6 km)
Width 65 ft (19.8 m)
Longest span 80 ft (24.4 m)
History
Designer R. J. Hollis-Bee
Constructed by Paul Y. Construction Company and Hume Industries
Construction start January, 1955 (2017-01-03UTC19:55)
Construction end August, 1956 (2017-08-03UTC19:57)
Opened August 17, 1956; 60 years ago (1956-08-17)

The Merdeka Bridge (Chinese: 独立桥, Malay: Jambatan Merdeka) is a vehicular and pedestrian bridge located in Kallang in the south-eastern part of Singapore. It spans the river mouths of the Kallang River and Rochor River, which empty into the Kallang Basin. Designed by R. J. Hollis-Bee of the then Public Works Department (now CPG Corporation), the bridge was officially opened on August 17, 1956.

Etymology[edit]

The name Merdeka means "independence" in Malay, and the bridge marked Singapore's freedom and independence when it was given internal self-government from the British in 1955.

History[edit]

When the Merdeka Bridge was built, it became the vital link between the city centre and the rapidly growing east coast via the Nicoll Highway. This role has been taken over by the Benjamin Sheares Bridge on the East Coast Parkway.

Merdeka Lions[edit]

Visually, the bridge's only attributes were the two stone lions guarding its two ends, known as the Merdeka Lions. Each lion had its back positioned, facing a tall blue mosaic monument adorned with the crest of the City of Singapore at the top.[1] These sculptures were crafted by Italian artist, Rudolfo Nolli, in his private studio in the Philippines. The identical pair were shipped here, towards the end of the bridge's construction. In 1966, the lions were removed to allow the widening of Nicoll Highway as well as the bridge. As a result, the two sculptures were then relocated to Stadium Walk. The statues were left abandoned at their location for the next three decades. After numerous suggestions from the public to move the twin sculptures to an appropriate site, the Public Works Department took the statues into storage. The PWD later transferred these statues to the Ministry of Defence in 1986. With the intention to install them in the then future SAFTI Military Institute located in Jurong West. In 1995 the two lions were moved by the ministry to the bottom of the SAFTI Tower at the institute, where they have remained since.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Merdeka Bridge Lions". publicart.sg. Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. 
  2. ^ National Library Board, Singapore. "Merdeka Bridge". nlb.gov.sg. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Norman Edwards, Peter Keys (1996), Singapore - A Guide to Buildings, Streets, Places, Times Books International, ISBN 9971-65-231-5
  • Victor R Savage, Brenda S A Yeoh (2003), Toponymics - A Study of Singapore Street Names, Eastern Universities Press, ISBN 981-210-205-1


Coordinates: 1°18′15.25″N 103°52′6.21″E / 1.3042361°N 103.8683917°E / 1.3042361; 103.8683917