Facts and History of Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge connects Sydney central business district (CBD) and the North Shore across the Sydney Harbor. It was designed by British firm Dorman Long and Co Ltd of Middlesbrough. It is completed in 1932.

Since 1815, there were ideas to build the bridge in the Sydney Harbor. Because of different reasons (economic, politic and design) it took some 100 years for ideas to bear fruit. J.J.C. Bradfield, "Chief Engineer of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Metropolitan Railway Construction" since 1912, liked the idea that a future Sydney Harbour Bridge should be cantilever bridge and in 1916, NSW Legislative Assembly approved such a construction but Legislative Council disagreed because it was of opinion that money should go into war effort.

After the World War I, bridge again looked like a good idea and Bradfield 1921 traveled abroad to investigate tenders. When he returned, he brought with himself another idea - arch design could work too. He and officers of the NSW Department of Public Works based their general design on Hell Gate Bridge from New York City. On 24 March 1924 contract was awarded to English firm Dorman Long and Co Ltd, of Middlesbrough because they already had similar experience with arch Tyne Bridge that they built. Arch bridge was chosen because it was cheaper and stronger than other proposed solutions. Building of the bridge happened roughly at the same time as construction of the underground railway system in Sydney so the bridge was conceived in a way that it can accommodate railway traffic too. Bridge was designed to have six lanes for road traffic, two for railroad and one for pedestrian.

Picture Of Sydney Harbour Bridge Famous

Bradfield managed the building of the bridge (because of the great influence he had on the development of the bridge, he is considered its “father”). Ceremony of the beginning of the works, so-called "turning of the first sod", was held on 28 July 1923. First part of the work was constructing of the approaches, preparing of the foundations for support of the arch and construction of the abutment towers. Arch construction began on 26 October 1928. Both sides of the arch were built at the same time but southern was built a little ahead of the northern in case some errors appear and to improve the alignment. Two halves of the arches met on 19 August 1930 and were able to support themselves. From that moment roadway and other parts were constructed from the center to outside. Deck was completed in June 1931. Power, gas, water and telephone lines were laid at the same time. First test steam locomotive crossed the bridge without problems on 19 January 1932. Bridge was opened on 19 March 1932. Its total length is 1.149 meters, width 49 meters and total weight of steel in the bridge is 52.800 tones. Total cost of the bridge was AU£6.25 million which is a sum that was not paid off until 1988.

Beside for intended practical purposes, Sydney Harbour Bridge is used as a tourist attraction. Its south-east pylon is favorite place of tourists and some of them partake in legal bridge climbing.

Picture Of Sydney Harbour Bridge Famous
Sydney Harbour Bridge Norman Selfe Proposal
Sydney Harbour Bridge Norman Selfe Proposal
NameSydney Harbour Bridge
Offical NameSydney Harbour Bridge
Other Name(s)The Coathanger
CrossesPort Jackson, Sydney Harbour
LocationSydney, Australia
Type/Design/Architectural StyleArch bridge, Through arch bridge, Steel arch bridge
MaterialSteel, Concrete, Granite
Designer/ArchitectDorman Long and Co Ltd of Middlesbrough
Carries2 rail tracks, 8 road lanes, 1 pedestrian way, 1 cycleway
Width49 m (161 ft)
Total Lenght1,149 m (3,770 ft)
Span / Longest Span503 m (1,650 ft)
Height134 m (440 ft)
Clerance Bellow49 m (161 ft) at mid-span
Construction Begin28 July 1923
Construction End19 January 1932
Opened19 March 1932
TollTime of day tolling (southbound)
Sydney Harbour Bridge Historic Aerial View
Sydney Harbour Bridge And Canberra
Sydney Harbour Bridge Early Construction
Picture Of Sydney Harbour Bridge