The Helix Bridge: Marina Bay Area, Singapore
While this bridge does not possess the physical immensity of a vehicular bridge, the unique concept for this walking bridge shows that it is much more than just a walkway. A design consisting of multiple tubes was created with lightweight materials, giving it a sleek appearance that contrasts a large, bulky vehicular bridge in near proximity.
As you might gather from the name, the shape and lighting were meant to represent the true structure of DNA helices, and the bridge’s functionality as shelter from rain and a viewing point for water events on the Bay make it the ultimate combination of flash and function. It is the longest pedestrian highway in Singapore and its one of a kind double Helix structure was conceptualized through a collaboration of Australian and Singapore engineers and architects. In the highly symbolic Asian culture, the double helix is said to represent the always important yin and yang concepts. This idea of balance is considered by many in Singapore to bring wealth, prosperity, and significant happiness to the people in and around the Marina Bay region. The helices themselves are made of steel, and their connection through a series of other metallic structures are supposed to represent the continuity of life. Like the Waves bridge, this provides a great view of Singapore’s impressive skyline. And, like many other bridges, the daytime and nighttime experiences are very different, with the night providing an array of purple lights that illuminate and to many enhance the experience of a walk through the double helix.
Millau Viaduct: Millau-Creissels, France
This bridge has the pants-wetting distinction as tallest bridge in the world. A trip across this towering 1,125 foot (at its highest) tall viaduct is not for those with a fear of heights. It took over 3 years to complete the bridge, and it has relieved congesting traffic that made trips in and out of this village in the South of France a nightmare.
Its location over the Tarn River valley certainly has something to do with its height. In addition to being the tallest bridge in the world, it is the 12th highest elevation from the ground of all the bridges in the world. Architect Norman Foster and structural engineer Michael Virlogeux invested 17 years into the whole process of planning and executing the project, but it was a crucial missing piece to the French highway system. Unlike many bridges, the surrounding and underlying fields and rivers are a beautiful and vast site, and the bridge is so aesthetically pleasing that it blends nicely with this scenic backdrop. For a sight that makes the bridge appear as if it is rising from the mist, drive over or view it during sunrise in the Autumn season. This appearance of floating is made possible by the huge distance from the bridge surface to the valley floor, as the bridge supports extend down so far that the mist completely engulfs them.