Comments on article: InfopediaTalk
Elgin Bridge, which crosses the Singapore River and links North and South Bridge Roads, is located in the Downtown Core of the Central Region. In 1863, the iron bridge originally named Thomson's Bridge was renamed Elgin Bridge, after Lord James Bruce Elgin, the Governor-General of India (1862-1863), the 8th Earl of Elgin. This first Elgin bridge was widened in 1870 but later demolished in 1920s to make way for the second Elgin Bridge, built between 1926 and 1929. It was opened to traffic on 30 May 1929 and the bridge remains until today.
Singapore's first bridge was erected around 1819 where the current Elgin Bridge stands. In November 1822, a wooden footbridge called Presentment Bridge, also known as Monkey Bridge, replaced this original crossing. After many repairs to the Presentment Bridge between 1827 and 1842, it was demolished. In 1844, it was replaced by another wooden footbridge designed by J. T. Thomson, and the bridge was renamed Thomson's Bridge. In 1845, this was widened (inside of the railing, 18 ft long, 1 in broad) and modified to take carriages. By 1862, the Thomson's Bridge was replaced by an iron bridge imported from Calcutta. Renamed Elgin Bridge in 1863, in honour of Lord Elgin, the Governor General of India (1862- 1863), it was erected with contributions from George Lyon, a shipbuilder from Tanjong Rhu. This bridge was widened in 1870s to accommodate increasing business between South Bridge Road, (or tuo po for big town in dialect) where the Chinese resided, and North Bridge Road (or sio po for small town) where the Indians were. The bridge was strengthened in the 1880s to take the load of steam tramways. This first Elgin Bridge was demolished on 24 December 1926.
The present concrete bridge is the fifth bridge and second Elgin Bridge built on this site. It is supported by three arches with slender hanging columns carrying the deck. It has steel frames encased in concrete. Built by the Public Works Department, it was opened to traffic on 30 May 1929. The old cast-iron lamps and roundels of the Singapura lion-cast from the previous bridge structure, were designed by Cavalieri Rodolfo Nolli. This was reused for the present bridge structure. Elgin Bridge was refurbished in 1989.
To assist pedestrian traffic, two underpasses were built below the bridge in September 1991 leading to South Bridge Road. This work was completed a year later in September 1992.
Chinese names: In Hokkien, thih tiau-kio, and in Cantonese, thit tiu-khiu, both mean iron suspension bridge.
Cheong, C. (1992). Framework and foundation: A history of the Public Works Department (pp. 51, 52). Singapore: Times Editions.
(Call no.: SING 354.5957008609)
Makepeace, W., Brooke, G. E., & Braddell, R. St. J. (Eds.). (1991). One hundred years of Singapore (Vol. 1, p. 324; Vol. 2, pp. 203-204). Singapore: Oxford University Press.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 ONE)
Tyers, R. K. (1993). Ray Tyers' Singapore: Then and now (pp. 7-8). Singapore: Landmark Books.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 TYE)
Elgin Bridge underpass open. (1992, September 12). The Straits Times, p. 29.
2 underpass at Elgin Bridge. (1992, September 10). The Straits Times, p. 21.
Work on underpass begins. (1991, September 2). The Straits Times, p. 2.
Berry, L. (1982). Singapore's river: A living legacy. Singapore: Eastern Universities Press.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 BER)
Singapore lifeline: The river and its people. (1986). Singapore: Times Books International.
(Call no.: SING 779.995957)
Firmstone, H.W. (1905, February). Chinese names of street and places in Singapore and the Malay Peninsula. Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 42, 142.
(Call no.: RSING 959.5 FIR)
Wan Meng Hao. (2009). Heritage places of Singapore. (p. 13). Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 WAN)
The information in this article is valid as at 2010 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.
Commerce and Industry>>Transportation
Architecture and Landscape>>Architectural Styles
Architecture and Landscape>>Streets and Places