Putrajaya Bridges, Kuala Lumpur
The numeral seven holds a magical meaning for many. Snow White had seven dwarfs, seven cowboys displayed great courage in the film The Magnificent Seven, and the Seven Wonders of the World are each truly unique.
Closer home, Putrajayaâ€™s seven impressive bridges are certainly worth your time and effort for a closer inspection.
The Putra Bridge is arguably the jewel in the crown of all Putrajayaâ€™s bridges. It links the Government Precinct to the Mixed Development Precinct, and has a span of 435 metres.
Intricate geometric designs spread in columns cover large wall areas which are typical of Safavid design style. The upper level of the Putra Bridge forms part of the Boulevard that connects the Dataran Putra and the Prime Ministerâ€™s Office Complex. The lower level functions as a service road, pedestrian walkway and LRT track. There are plans to house restaurants in its piers.
The Seri Wawasan Bridge was inspired by the sails of a Bugis schooner, and connects Precinct 8 to the Mixed Development Precinct. It has a single span of 240 metres supported by stayed cables suspended from leaning concrete pylons. At the other end, equilibrium is accorded by a combination of cable backstays and structural steel tie-back. The Seri Wawasan Bridge, meaning Bridge of Vision, accommodates a dual three-way carriageway and a pedestrian walkway. Its modern materials and dramatic sweeping curves make a bold statement that Putrajaya is a city with its vision focused on the IT era.
For a change of mood, let us cross the Seri Gemilang Bridge. Ornate in design, it evokes a feeling of grandeur. It consists of a 120-metre main span and two 60-metre end spans, making a total length of 240 metres.
The balusters are fabricated from pre-cast stone and towers are topped with a crescent moon with a star. Lamp posts that are gracefully forked at its end punctuate the central divider of this dual three-lane carriageway. There are also those of other designs to break the monotony of the former.
Spanning the protocol route, Seri Bakti Bridge is known as the â€œBridge of Dignified Eleganceâ€. It has nine spans and looks simplistic from afar. However, it has incorporated much creative elements to its design. At the top of each pier is a minaret-like pavilion that boasts of an observation deck and a planterâ€™s box. Articulated rails and lamp posts matching the architecture of the promenade adorn the entire stretch of the bridge.
Another attention-grabber is the Seri Saujana Bridge linking the Core Island in Precinct 4 to Precinct 7. Consisting of a single span of 300 metres, the bridge is supported by two steel parabolic arches that work in combination with two pylons to create a stable structure. The Seri Saujana Bridge is a modern restatement of the traditional stayed-cable bridge at its best.
The Seri Setia Bridge is tucked in the southeastern corner of Putrajaya, providing a vital link between Precinct 19 and the Commercial Precinct. Made up of eight equal spans of 30 metres each, this artistic bridge exhibits lancet-arch designs on its railing that complements the fascia panels on its side.
Soothing pink adds a feminine charm to this bridge. The Seri Bestari Bridge, festooned with red bougainvillea at its sides, connects Precinct 16 to the Mixed Development Precinct. A single structure of 153 metres, it has articulated railings that harmonises with the promenade architecture. Due to its prime location, it is also part of the protocol route.
The bridges of Putrajaya represent masterpieces of human creative genius. They are also a summary of the three main types of bridges built since ancient times â€“ beam, arch, and suspension â€“ and later variations such as cable-stayed, truss and cantilever.