Sydney Harbour Bridge

Australia’s most famous bridge!

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the most famous, and recognizable manmade structures in Australia.  It measures 3,770 ft. long, 160 ft. wide, and 440 ft. tall.  Completed in 1932, the construction of the bridge was an economic feat, given the fact that the bridge opened up during the early years of the Great Depression.  Construction of the bridge was under the leadership of Chief engineer Dr. John Bradfield of the New South Wales Department of Public Works.  Before the bridge opened up, getting from one side of Sydney to the other took some effort.  The only link between the city center on the south side of the harbor and the suburban north side were either by ferry, or by a lengthy drive around the city that measured more than 12 miles.

Nicknamed the “coat-hanger”, due to its obvious shape, the single-span arch bridge took eight years to build.  In addition to a new road, a railroad was added too; Sydney’s CityRail takes commuters from Central Station into the suburbs of Sydney, and beyond.  By the time it was done, the completed road was known as the Bradfield Expressway, which was named in honor of the bridge’s engineer, and it not only gave residents a shortcut across Sydney Harbour, it provided the city with a beautiful backdrop to Australia’s largest city. If you look at the bridge from the water’s side, it bears a near resemblance to the Hell’s Gate Bridge in New York City, a steel-arch railway bridge that links Queens with the Bronx.  In fact, that was the inspiration for Bradfield’s design.  When he visited New York in 1922, he was thoroughly impressed by the simple shape and structure of the arched bridge; at the time, it was the greatest arched bridge ever constructed.  Rather than build a cantilever bridge, which was viewed as unattractive, Bradfield opted for an arched-look, instead.

Visitors to the bridge can opt to climb the magnificent structure, via the company Sydney BridgeClimb.  For a sizeable fee, visitors can strap on jumpsuit, strap on a safety harness, and scale up to the top of one the biggest and most beautiful bridges in the world.

The bridge not only gave Sydney name recognition, but the bridge itself gave the world another famous name.  An Australian construction worker named Paul Hogan was spotted working on the bridge, and was hired by a talent scout.  The world would later know him as Crocodile Dundee.

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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