Geological/Historical Aspect

Geological Aspect

Map of the Singapore River and its landmarks

A: MICA Building

The MICA Building, otherwise known as the Old Hill Street Police Station (OHSPS), was erected in 1934 to house the Hill Street Police Station and Barracks.

B: Coleman Bridge

Located in the Central Region of the Singapore River area, Coleman Bridge links Hill Street with New Bridge Road. It is named after the designer of the first Coleman Bridge, George D. Coleman, who was also the first Superintendent of Public Works and Singapore's first architect.

C: Parliament House

The Parliament House of Singapore is a public building and cultural landmark and houses the Parliament of Singapore. The building was designed to represent a contemporary architectural expression of stateliness and authority. The prism-shaped top, designed by the late former president Ong Teng Cheong, was similarly a modernist take on the traditional dome.

D: Asian Civilisations Museum

The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) is the first museum in the region to present a broad yet integrated perspective of pan-Asian cultures and civilisations. As one of the National Museums of Singapore under the National Heritage Board, we seek to promote a better appreciation of the rich cultures that make up Singapore's multi-ethnic society.

E: Fullerton Hotel

Previously the General Post building, the 5-star Fullerton Hotel stands overlooking the Singapore river.

F: Anderson Bridge

Constructed between 1908-1910 to replace an older bridge, the Anderson Bridge was built with a good clearance to allow vessels to pass under at high tide. Named after Sir John Anderson (Governor of the Straits Settlements, 1904-1911) it was constructed because the Cavenagh Bridge was unable to cope with increasing traffic.

Introduction to the Singapore River

The Singapore River is 11,000 metres long from its source at Kim Seng Bridge, but the waterway extends, as Alexandra Canal, as far as the junction of Commonwealth Avenue. Here there is a break with Buona Vista Road where Sungei Ulu Pandan starts and flows into Sungei Pandan which in turn flows into the sea at West Coast Park. Thus, the source of both these waterways is in the Queenstown, Ridout Road Estate and Tanglin Halt area near Margaret Drive.

Change of River Flow
The river is now part of the Marine Barrage after damming the Singapore River at its outlet to the sea to create a new reservoir of freshwater. While damming this area would create a valuable source of fresh water for the tiny city-state, it would have prevented the docking of ocean-going ships at the Singapore River which was arguably the original reason Singapore came into existence. 
Whereas the original mouth of the Singapore River emptied into Singapore Straits and its southern islands before major land reclamation took place, the Singapore River now empties into Marina Bay - an area of water partially enclosed by the reclamation work. 

As such, we believe the course of the Singapore River would not change for the next century unless a major land reclamation takes place. As recorded in Singapore history, no change of river course has ever taken place. Until the land reclamation work has taken place to move the river's course to the Marina Barrage.


Historical Aspect

In the present days, boating activities are being held at Singapore River. As we can see from the photos, these boats regularly transport tourists to tour the Singapore River. Therefore tourism is the main activity carried out here right now. We can also see that the water there is quite clean, implying that maintenance is is regularly carried out there. 

In the past, however, things were very different. The mouth of the Singapore River was largely occupied by swamps, forests and hills. The only open space was Temenggong’s compound where a small community lived. The Singapore River has served for several decades as the Port of Singapore and its commercial centre. The rapid urbanisation and expanding trade caused heavy traffic in the area, bringing in water pollution due to the disposal of garbage, sewage and industry by-products.