Crossing into the past with 5 local bridges

Crossing into the past with 5 local bridges
Anderson Bridge looks similar to Brisbane’s Victoria Bridge which was torn down in 1969. This is because they shared the same designer, Sydney-based A.B. Brandy.

SINGAPORE - They barely get a second glance from most people, yet five bridges crossing the Singapore River boast a wealth of little-known stories and historical details.

The fortitude of Cavenagh Bridge, for instance, was tested by a party of 120 sepoy soldiers who marched over it on its completion in 1869.

Anderson Bridge, meanwhile, bore a close resemblance to Victoria Bridge in Brisbane, Australia, until the latter was torn down in 1969. This was because they shared the same designer, Sydney-based A.B. Brandy.

These little-known facts were unearthed by researcher Ian Tan, 27, from the National Heritage Board (NHB).

Along with the Ord, Elgin and Read bridges, these structures have been conserved by the Urban Redevelopment Authority in 2008.

All were named after governors and officials during the island's early years as a crown colony, and are of high heritage value.

Mr Tan began piecing together the narrative over the past three months for a documentation effort with the board. The aim is to enhance Singaporeans' "historical and architectural understanding" of the grand old dames which have played witness to the ebb and flow of maritime trading and communal living along the river banks.

The structures, erected between 1869 and 1929, reflect the prosperity brought about by the establishment of the Straits Settlements as a British Crown Colony in 1867 and the opening of the Suez Canal in Egypt in 1869.

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