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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Esplanade Bridge, Marina Bay, Singapore

Esplanade Bridge, Marina Bay, Singapore - The Esplanade Bridge is a 260 metre-long (850 ft.) road bridge that spans across the mouth of the Singapore River in Singapore with the Esplanade – Esplanade Bridge, Marina Bay, Singapore, Theatres on the Bay on its northern abutment and the Merlion on the southern. The 70 metre-wide (230 ft.) low-level concrete arched bridge has seven spans and supports two four-lane carriageways and walkways along both sides.

The bridge was built to provide faster vehicular access between Marina Centre and the financial district of Shenton Way. Construction of the bridge began in early 1994 and was completed in March 1997. The main contractor was Obayashi Corporation. The bridge then blocked views of the Merlion statue from the Marina Bay waterfront, raising a need for the original Merlion statue to be relocated from the back to the front of the bridge.

The bridge offers panoramic views of Marina South and the rest of Marina Bay. However, this also makes it subject to occasional road closures on special occasions, where the bridge closes to all road traffic to allow spectators and pedestrians to observe fireworks seen during the National Day celebrations, New Year’s Eve and the Singapore Fireworks Celebrations. On nights like these, all eight lanes of traffic will be packed with onlookers. Watching firework displays from the bridge has been made more pleasant, as street lights on the bridge are switched off right before and switched back on right after.

The bridge also formed part of the Singapore Grand Prix’s Marina Bay Street Circuit, which debuted on 28 September 2008, and thus had to be completely closed for the duration of the racing season.