The Helix, commonly referred to as Helix Bridge, is the longest pedestrian bridge in Singapore.1 Opened in 2010, the bridge has a distinctive double helix structure modelled on the DNA structure.2 It overlooks Marina Bay, forming a curve next to the vehicular Bayfront Bridge and the Youth Olympic Park, and connecting Marina Centre with the Bayfront area.3
Background and description
Plans for the bridge were announced in March 2006.4 It was intended to link a “necklace” of attractions around the Marina Bay area,5 including a new youth art park (Youth Olympic Park) that was to be constructed at the same time. Singapore issued a tender for a consortium of international architects to design the bridge. Thirty-six firms submitted bids, out of which a team of three firms was selected to oversee the project,6 namely Cox Group, Arup Pte Ltd (both from Australia) and Architects61 from Singapore.7 This team initially considered the idea of a fishnet design for the bridge to portray Singapore’s fishing village roots but discarded it in favour of a double helix structure. This association with the structure of DNA was meant to symbolise “life and continuity, renewal and growth”.8
The 280-metre-long9 Helix Bridge is made of a special duplex stainless steel that equips it with high structural strength while reducing maintenance needs. It is able to support up to 16,000 people at a time. With a height clearance of 8.8 m above water, boats are able to pass through Marina Bay and Marina Channel. The bridge, which comprises a major and minor helix, is about the height of three storeys and the total length of steel tubes that make up the double helix is approximately 2,250 m.10
The Helix is the first in the world to feature the double helix design and cost an estimated S$68 million.11 One advantage of the design was that less steel was used compared with box girders or cable bridges. This saved millions of dollars in construction costs. Construction started in 2007.12
Helix Bridge is located near the Benjamin Sheares Bridge.13 On one side of the bridge are attractions such as the Singapore Flyer and the Esplanade ‒ Theatres on the Bay. Across the bridge are the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort and the ArtScience Museum.
*Extracted from Singapore Infopedia