The Queen Emma Bridge is a pontoon bridge across St. Anna Bay in Curaçao. It connects the Punda and Otrobanda quarters of the capital city, Willemstad. The bridge is hinged and opens regularly to enable the passage of oceangoing vessels. On the opposite end from the hinge is a small shelter where an operator controls two diesel engines turning propellers. The propellers are mounted perpendicular to the length of the bridge and allow it to swing parallel to the shore. The process only takes a few minutes to complete.
The bridge when it is operating for pedestrians, seen from the Punda side towards the Otrobanda side.
The bridge was built in 1888 and was completely renovated in 1939. Originally it was a toll bridge. Individuals without shoes were permitted to cross the bridge without paying the toll; however, today, a toll is no longer applied. When the bridge swings open, two ferries spring into action to bring pedestrians across the water. The ferries are also free of charge.
Locally, the bridge is known as “Our Swinging Old Lady” as it will swing to the Otrabanda side of Willemstad.