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May 20, 2008

Southern Ridges: Henderson Waves, Highest Pedestrian Bridge In Singapore

Southern Ridges: Henderson Waves, Highest Pedestrian Bridge In Singapore

Henderson Waves is Singapore's highest pedestrian bridge linking Mount Faber Park to Telok Blangah Hill Park that forms part of the Southern Ridges. The two parks join forces with Hort Park, Kent Ridge Park and West Coast Park to form a corridor of green spaces known as the Southern Ridges of Singapore.

For a detailed map of the Southern Ridges of Singapore, you can download the file at Npark's website: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/sr-map.pdf

Last Sunday morning, I was curious enough to visit Henderson Waves to familiarize myself with this new place in Singapore's scheme of parks. To reach the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore, I chose my start point at Telok Blangah Hill Park as it had the nearest carpark. However, many other vehicle owners (and many more waiting at the car parks and roads) had beaten me to the limited lots available there. A quick change of plans ensured that I found a free parking lot (on Sundays, Public Holidays only) along Telok Blangah Heights next to Block 60.

From the car park, my wife and I crossed Telok Blangah Heights and made our way past a lotus pond as we climbed steps and slopes up to the Hilltop Walk at Telok Blangah Hill Park. In less than six minutes, the Singapore Southern Ridges’ highest pedestrian bridge, Henderson Waves, beckoned.

Pedestrian flows at Telok Blangah Hill Park and Henderson Waves were heavy compared to the time that I visited and wrote in my post before construction of Singapore’s Henderson Waves was completed. This was within expectation and I believe it will be quieter on weekdays and even on weekends after another three to six months when the novelty of the new bridge wears off.

The Southern Ridges’ Henderson Waves is a one-of-a-kind pedestrian bridge like no other. Its unusual wave-like form gives an impression of a giant caterpillar wriggling across a tight rope from one Singaporean hilltop to another. There are seven steel “ribs” that curve above and under its deck. These “ribs” form alcoves that provide shade from the hot late morning sun and also provide seating areas. The decking is made of strips of yellow balau wood that leaves gaps large enough for me to peep at the traffic 36 metres below my shoes. The decking appears to slant with the higher end at Telok Blangah Hill Park. Readings of the height of the bridge above sea level carved into the slabs of wood confirm my suspicion.

There is also a security camera on Singapore’s Henderson Bridge presumably to keep a lookout for any hanky panky along the 300-metre long bridge. This may arguably make it the only pedestrian bridge in Singapore and along the Southern Ridges to have a security camera installed as part of its design.

For a run-of-the-mill pedestrian bridge, we would have walked across a bridge of this length within three minutes. But as this was a record-setting pedestrian bridge in Singapore and the prime reason for our visit here, we broke our own records for the slowest amble across Singapore’s highest pedestrian bridge. The views to the north of Henderson Waves consisted mainly of Singapore’s Bukit Merah housing estate and beyond. To the south, a glimpse of the distant sea was available for photography. Under the pedestrian bridge, vehicular lanes dominated the view bounded by trees and vegetation.

I was glad that I did not bring my foldable bicycle along for this trip. Cyclists will have to navigate up some pretty steep slopes to reach Henderson Waves from Telok Blangah Hill Park. They would not be allowed to cycle across the bridge but could push their bicycles across the entire span of Henderson Waves. The use of skate scooters, roller blades, baby prams, high heels and other mobility devices will face difficulty due to the gaps in the flooring of the deck.

I plan to return to the Southern Ridge’s Henderson Waves for another visit at a later period when the novelty crowd is thinner; to catch the 7pm to 2am LED light up of the bridge. The prospect of witnessing a light show of Henderson Waves, the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore, is a mouth-watering thought indeed.

To get to the Southern Ridges’ Henderson Waves, bus service numbers 131, 145, 176 or 648 will take you to Henderson Road where you can climb up the stairs up to Mount Faber Park. For Singaporeans who drive, there are 17 lots at Mt Faber car park D and 39 lots at car park 1 and 2 at Telok Blangah Hill Park.

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Jinghui said...

Nice photos & great write up on the Henderson Wave Bridge !

Seen This Scene That said...

Thanks for visiting my site and the compliments!

Gorgeous Traveller said...

Wow this is a cool one!

Stardust said...

Oh! This is so new to me!

Han Cheng said...

Henderson Wave Bridge look so nice! I wonder how to get there?

Joshua Tan said...

Oh! It looks so nice

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