Saturday, November 26, 2011

Passing of an era - The Hillview Railway Bridge

So it has finally come to pass. The day that I thought I would never see the light of.
After more than 80 years, the Malaysian railway line has been dismantled and with it the freeing up of the bottleneck at Hillview Road.

I wrote a blog back in Nov 2010 about this bottleneck just after Singapore and Malaysia came to an agreement to remove the KTM railway line from Singapore.   (Link here)

The traffic bottleneck at Hillview Road.

Yesterday, while online with another ex-resident of the now demolished Princess Elizabeth Estate,  SK Yum, I learnt that the railway bridge pictured above was dismantled that very day we were chatting.  So I missed the opportunity to document a historic moment when the bridge was taken down.

The bottleneck will soon be a thing of the past, much to the joy of all the residents of Hillview and Bukit Batok, as well as for motorists who use that stretch.

I am not sure when the bridge was built but when my parents moved into Princess Elizabeth Estate in 1953,  it was already there. So it must be at least 60 years. (postscript: it was built in 1923)

Back in 1953, when Princess Elizabeth Estate was built, the road was the only access from Upper Bukit Timah Road to the estate. It remained the only access road in, until the early 1970s when Hillview Avenue was extended and connected to Jurong Road at the other end.

The road was originally called Princess Elizabeth Estate Drive.
As the Hillview area developed, it was renamed Hillview Avenue.
But as Hillview Avenue extended and branched off with more developments, that short stretch from the Hillview Circus to Upper Bukit Timah Road was hived off and renamed Hillview Road.

Here are some photos I took today, a day after the dismantling. 
Soon this will also just be a part of people's memory, when they remember that there used to be a bridge at Hillview Road.

The Hillview Bridge with the railway line on top.
This was taken in July during the 'open' period for visitors after the train services ended.

Hillview Road with the bridge dismantled. 26 Nov 2011.

The concrete beam still across is a height warning and collision barrier. Soon to be dismantled as well.  

Watch in high definition. Select 720p ---------------------------------------------------^

The collision barrier has been removed. Photo taken on 12 Dec 2011.

All that's remaining is the height warning gantry, which ironically has become the obstruction itself!

Related links:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Orchard Road Singapore

I was down at Orchard Road yesterday to shoot a video for my annual Christmas greeting card.
Despite being a Tuesday, it seemed more crowded than usual.
That was when I thought of Shibuya in Tokyo and so did a short video on the crossing at Cairnhill Road.