DNA Bridge, Singapore

The Helix Bridge (Design looks similar to DNA molecules), previously known as the Double Helix Bridge, is a pedestrian bridge linking Marina Centre with Marina South in the Marina Bay area in Singapore. It was officially opened on 24 April 2010 at 9 pm, however only half was opened due to ongoing construction at the Marina Bay Sands. It is located beside the Benjamin Sheares Bridge and is accompanied by a vehicular bridge, known as the Bayfront Bridge. The entire bridge was opened on 18 July 2010 to complete the entire walkway around Marina Bay.

The bridge complements other major development projects planned in the area, including the highly-anticipated Integrated Resort Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Flyer, Gardens by the Bay and the 438,000 m² business and financial centre which will be ready by 2012.

From the outset, the project posed several challenges. There was a desire for the plan view of the bridge to be curved in an arc, such that it joins the foreshore promenades on either side seamlessly. Furthermore, it was desirable to create a lightweight structure, in contrast to the adjacent 6-lane vehicle bridge which is rather heavy in appearance. Due to the tropical climate, the brief also required the bridge to provide shade and shelter against direct sunshine and heavy rainfall. The combination of these factors, together with the desire to create a landmark structure, led to a novel and unique design. The bridge was designed using BS 5950  in combination with a design guide from the SCI. The resulting bridge comprises two delicate helix structures that act together as a tubular truss to resist the design loads. This approach was inspired by the form of the curved DNA structure. The helix tubes only touch each other in one position, under the bridge deck. The two spiralling members are held apart by a series of light struts and rods, as well as stiffening rings, to form a rigid structure. This arrangement is strong and ideal for the curved form. The stainless steel bridge is met by concrete abutments at either side.

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