Straddling across Marina channel, the barrage closed out the sea and helped to form the 15th reservoir of our little red dot. But it is not just a dam. It also serves to discharge surplus water especially when there is torrential rain runoffs.
Actually when I read up about the barrage and the water catchment area that it helped created, I was surprised that it comprises of 1/6 of the area of Singapore! Bear in mind this is not the actual size of the water body that makes up the reservoir, but the surrounding area from which fresh water runoff is collected.
Wild life preserve?
Walking from the Gardens by the bay, the barrage is also a nice photo spot, as it offers a very wide expansive view of the city skyline.
Actually on the day I was walking towards the Barrage I was side tracked when I saw a couple seemingly rummaging along the banks of the Marina channel. Well guess what! A family of otters were lounging on the sand to take refuge from the mid day sun.
Now they have been spotted in a few other water bodies around the island, but a family of nine? I read somewhere there should be ten of them. Perhaps I miscounted in my excitement.
The lady told me that they are sensitive to movement and the three of us stood there quietly, occasionally trading positions to take photos of the sleeping otters. Surprisingly these guys are quite large – almost 4 feet long from nose to tail.
And they were sleeping there without a care at all! Perhaps we are really a wild city? Video here.
Maybe I will come back at a different time and see them again. Wish you had the opportunity to see them up so close as I did!
The pump house
You cannot miss this building of glass panels with the words “Marina Barrage” emblazoned on it. This is the pump house. While entry into the facility is not allowed, you are free to roam all over the rest of the place.
There is a grass covered walkway which is the roof of the building that curves, ascends and then descends. Aside from a walking/running path, it is covered with grass.
I chose to take one of the lifts up to the roof and left the walking to the joggers. While I was there, I chanced upon two ladies who were in cosplay costumes. They were happily posing for photos. Read somewhere that a Cosplay event was held here before…wow.
Time to look back towards the city. And it is a sight that does not fail to amaze. If only I had come here on a sunnier day! The clouds were coming in and the winds howling. No wonder people come here to fly their kites.
I finally saw the solar panels while walking the roof. These collect power to Aside from the roof, there is an exhibit of the benefits of the barrage that one can stroll through. Today there was a large contingent of international school students bussed here on a field trip.
Walk on the Barrage bridge
With the threat of a heavy downpour coming, I headed down to the Marina Bay bridge where you can view the sluices up close. It was a pleasant surprise that structure over each sluice gate was a pavilion with seating. So much for comfort to anyone wishing to take a rest while walking the bridge to admire the view.
And I can see why they would do this.
Even with the foreboding dark clouds in the distant, it was a beautiful sight to behold. Imagine what it would be like here when it is sunny or in the evening when the city lights glow. Must be a real treat for the photo enthusiast.
Free to visit, the barrage is open 24/7 for visitors and there is said to be a fountain light show in the evenings.