Thursday, July 28, 2011

A bridge too far.... gone?

Some of you may know that I have embarked on a quixotic adventure to photograph all the overhead pedestrian bridges in Singapore. My wife thinks I have gone bonkers going after these windmills.

Anyway, I have already started the project and doing a temporary website to collect this database.
If you wish to follow my progress, I have another blog to do the drafts while I prepare the website.
You can see them here. This project will probably take years to complete as I will snap photos as and when I come across the bridges.

The reason why I am doing this is simply for posterity.
To capture the images before it becomes history and only in people's memories.
This resulted from the interest that people had shown in seeking pictures of old bus stops in Singapore.

I mentioned to my wife that it was a shame that the first generation steel truss bridges, the very first overhead pedestrian bridges, can no longer be seen today. And guess what she said?

"I think I remember seeing one still at Bukit Panjang where my old house was"
"No way!", I said, "they demolished your old house and the bridge a long time ago!"
She insisted she saw one just recently there.

So this morning, before going to office, I made a detour to Bukit Panjang.
When I was approaching near where my wife's old house used to be... OMG! she was right!!!

From afar, in front of me, I could see the old type steel truss bridge !
it was not the first generation type that was built in Singapore.
But it was almost an identical replica.

It is a temporary overhead bridge built for access across the road due to the MRT tunneling works going on at Bukit Panjang. Here it is....

The difference is apparent when you get near.
The steel trusses form a box 2.5 metres high, whereas the original bridge only had side trusses about a meter high and didn't have supports over head.
The original bridges also had wooden steps and floorboards.
But I must say that from a distance, it really looks like the original 1st generation bridge.

The old steel truss bridges were replaced by concrete types from the 1980s onwards.
This was due to the difficulties in maintaining the steel bridges which corroded easily and needed very high maintenance compared to pre-stressed concrete.

I really wish I can find one in service still so that I can complete my database.
Does anyone know where one may still exist? In some forgotten corner of Singapore?
That will be my one bridge too far!

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