Queen Emma Bridge
The Queen Emma bridge
The Queen Emma bridge in Willemstad, Curaçao (also known as the pontoonbridge) is the bridge connecting Punda and Otrabanda across the St. Annabay. The Queen Emma bridge is a hinged bridge that opens regularly for incoming ocean vessels. The Queen Emma bridge opens due to a diesel engine operated propeller. This allows the Queen Emma bridge to swing parallel to the shore, which takes just a few minutes. The Queen Emma bridge is a very unique bridge, as it is the only swinging wooden bridge in the entire world. The bridge is built on floating pontoons, which creates a very unique experience. When you walk along the Queen Emma bridge, you can feel the ground swell below. The view, when walking the Queen Emma bridge, is also very beautiful, as you can see the Handelskade of Punda, the Brionplein of Otrabanda, the Queen Juliana bridge and the Riffort. When the bridge opens, you have the possibility to remain on the bridge. This experience is something that you have never had before! You have the perfect viewpoint to see what ships are passing by, and you feel the bridge swinging away. Sometimes the bridge opens for a very long time (approximately 30 minutes or longer). When this happens, two ferries jump into action to help the people wanting to cross the bridge.
The Queen Emma bridge was originally built in 1888 and completely renovated in 1939. The Queen Emma bridge used to be a toll bridge, but this was terminated in 1934. Before 1934 people who were not wearing any shoes were allowed to cross the Queen Emma bridge for free. Since 1974, cars were banned from the Queen Emma bridge, as the Queen Juliana bridge opened. Nowadays, nearly 15.000 people cross the Queen Emma Bridge every single day.
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