The Sydney Harbour Bridge – It’s Power and Grandeur
The Sydney Harbour Bridge boasts of being among the most renowned landmarks in Australia. Its fame is comparable to that of the Sydney Opera House.
Its construction was completed back in 1932. The bridge is known as “Coat Hanger” by the locals. While its construction cost an arm and a leg, it was an engineering and architectural triumph. Before its construction, Sydney CBD was linked to the north by a twenty kilometer (12.5 miles) road or by ferry. Construction of the bridge and the rail line took 8 years. The area where it sits is also occupied by the Luna Park, a funfair site.
Construction work started on December 1926. Its foundations are 39 feet (12 meters) deep in sandstone. Its anchoring tunnels measure 118 feet (36 meters) long and sit deep in a rock. Construction of the arch started on November 1929. The arch was constructed in halves. Restraints made of steel cable support each side. The main role of the arch is supporting the deck of the bridge and spans 1650 feet (503 meters).
Moreover, the arch has hinges at both ends. It spreads the load of the bridge to its foundations. These hinges make it possible for the bridge to move when steel contracts and expands as it responds to temperature changes and strong winds. The halves of the arch met on October 1930 and construction work on the bridge deck commenced. The bridge deck is set 194 feet (59 meters) above the sea level. It was constructed from the inside towards outside.
The bridge was opened on 19th March 1932. A total amount of approximately 13.5 million Australian dollars was spent on constructing the bridge and was paid off by 1988. Initially, the toll cost for each car was 5 cents whereas horse riders would pay 2 cents. Currently, toll costs stand at $3. Money raised from the toll charges is spent on maintaining the bridge and paying up for the costs of constructing the Sydney Harbour Tunnel. It costs around $5 million to maintain the bridge annually. At least 150,000 motor vehicles use the bridge daily.
Construction work involved at least 14,000 workers. Sixteen workers lost their lives in accidents as they worked on the bridge. Painting work on the bridge is now a continuous task. At least 21,000 gallons or 80,000 liters of paint is used for each painting job. Such amount of paint is large enough to spread across 60 soccer pitches. Paul Hogan who featured in the movie titled “Crocodile Dundee” worked as one of the painters of the bridge before rising to fame.
Visitors can also check out the Pylon Lookout. Here, you’ll find an amazing display showing how the bridge was constructed. You can enter the Pylon through a pedestrian walkway located at the bridge. To get here, walk along the stairs from Cumberland Street at The Rocks. You can also get here from the northern side of the Milsons Point Station. The Pylon opens daily apart from Christmas Day.
The walkway can be accessed from the eastern area of the Harbour Bridge. The entire walkway is secured with wire mesh. The wire mesh obscures the view of the Sydney harbor, making the walkway unbefitting for photo shoots. Our Fast Plumbers say that you can get the best views by paying some fee to climb up the bridge and get the best views.