One of the oldest bridge along the Singapore River, Cavenagh Bridge was built in 1869 to link the Civic District on the North Bank to the Commercial District on the South Bank. This also happen to be the first steel suspension bridge in Singapore.
Before the bridge was constructed, access between the two districts was only possible by a detour to Elgin Bridge or by paying one cent for a boat ride.
The bridge was named after Major General Orfeur Cavanagh, the Governor of the Straits Settlement (1859-1869).
It was manufactured by P & W MacLellan in Scotland where the parts were then shipped here and assembled by Indian convict labour.
According to the original design by the Public Works Department, the bridge was to be raised during high tide to facilitate the passage of barges. However, this proved to be technically impossible and it became a fixed suspension bridge.
By the late 1800s, the bridge could not withstand the growing volume of vehicular traffic and Anderson Bridge was opened in 1910 to resolve the traffic woes. A police notice was put up to regulate the use of the bridge, banning heavy vehicular traffic exceeding 3cwt or 152kg still stands today at either end of the bridge.