DNA-inspired: World's first curved double helix bridge at Marina Bay

DNA-inspired: World's first curved double helix bridge at Marina Bay

Singapore's waterfront now sports a curving structure that's being called an architectural marvel
Marina Bay bridge
The opening of the bridges and the Youth Olympic Park is an important milestone event for Marina Bay, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority

It's 280 meters long, made of a special stainless steel, was lovingly assembled over two years with great precision and is already being touted as an architectural marvel and engineering feat. Officially named "The Helix," the sweeping, curving structure is the world's first double helix bridge and joins CNNGo's list of 24 of the world's most amazing bridges.

The bridge by day.The bridge is located just beside the floating platform at Marina Bay, and when Phase 2 of Marina Bay Sands is open in June, it will allow pedestrians a direct link to the integrated resort. At its entrance is Singapore's first art park -- the Youth Olympic Park -- which opened at the same time as the bridge, and alongside it is the vehicular bridge to the casino resort, called Bayfront Bridge. 

Designed by Australian firm Cox Group, engineering firm Arup and Singapore-based Architects 61, the bridge is made up of a major and minor steel helix that wind around each other. The bridge has five viewing platforms spanning across the entire length which provide great views of the Singapore skyline and events taking place within Marina Bay. It also functions as a outdoor gallery where children's paintings and drawings are exhibited for public viewing.

Why is this bridge such a big deal? To put it in perspective, if all the steel tubes forming the major and minor helix are laid end to end, it will measure 2,250 meters long, and the entire structure weighs about 1,700 tons, which is equivalent to about 1,130 saloon cars. There is also a night lighting feature built into the pedestrian bridge, which can be programmed to create various moods for different events.

"When the (Marina Bay) Promenade is completed by the middle of this year, together with this bridge, it will form a 3.5-kilometer pedestrian loop around the whole bay," said Fun Siew Leng, Group Director of Urban Planning and Design, Urban Redevelopment Authority, to Channel NewsAsia.

Big fanfare at opening celebrations

To mark the completion of the bridge and the opening of the Youth Olympic Park, a specially choreographed two-minute pyrotechnic show was held over the weekend, which was set against the backdrop of the pedestrian bridge. The Helix was officially named and declared open by National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan.

A series of music, dance, drum and gongfu performances choreographed by Aaron Khek, the chief choreographer for the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, was also held in the newly built Youth Olympics Park.

A technology reporter and wannabe entrepreneur in a previous life, Larry is now City Editor for CNNGo Singapore, where he sacrifices his nights, caffeine intake and waistline to the demands of the job.
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