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South Bridge Road

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Situated on South Bridge Road in Chinatown, Singapore, are national monuments such as Jamae Mosque (the green building to the right) and Sri Mariamman Temple (with the gopuram further down the road)
A view of the road in 1965

South Bridge Road (Chinese: 桥南路) is a major road in Singapore, running south of the Singapore River in Chinatown. It starts at Elgin Bridge and ends at the junction of Neil Road, Tanjong Pagar Road and Maxwell Road.

The road, built by convict labour in 1833, started at the south of Thomson Bridge (now Elgin Bridge) from which it took its name. It is an extension of North Bridge Road which starts from Crawford Street to the north of Elgin Bridge. From 1885 to 1894, steam tramways plied the full length of the road from the town area to the New Harbour (now known as Keppel Harbour). As the trams could not face the competition of rickshaws, they ceased operations. The Singapore Electric Train Company had its trams running along the road from 1905 to 1927. Trolley buses also used South Bridge Road as one of their routes, competing with the "mosquito bus" until 1962 and it became one-way road until 4 April 1993. Most of the bus routes are diverted via Upper Cross Street and New Bridge Road since 20 March 1988, and currently, only bus services 61, 80, 145, 166 and 197 plies through the South Bridge Road and Neil Road/Tanjong Pagar Road.

The Chinese call the road ta ma lo or "great horseway" as well as chat bok koi or "paint wood street". "Paint wood street" refers to where there is a police court and the river. The road is also known as gu chia chui tua be chia lo in Hokkien which means "big horse (carriage) road in Kreta Ayer Road". The Tamils refer to it as "kalapithi kadei sadakku" களப்பத்துக் கடை சடக்கு or "Cawker's Shop Street".



  • Victor R. Savage; Brenda S. A. Yeoh (2004), Toponymics – A Study of Singapore Street Names, Singapore: Eastern Universities Press, ISBN 978-981-210-364-2.

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