Building of Sydney Harbour Bridge

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The bridge connects the City to north shore. But building of Sydney Harbour Bridge did not come easy at all, as ferry services were very good and reliable. It took several decades to make a decision and over 8 years to build the bridge.

At the end of the 19th century, with Gladesville bridge offering a transport option between the north and the south of Sydney, many thought that a new bridge, while providing a shorter route, would be too expensive.

Was a tunnel crossing the harbour a better alternative? More heated discussions that kept delaying a decision.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the population in the north shore area grew extensively. They needed better transport into the City. They needed an alternative to ferries.

The building of Sydney Harbour Bridge comes to life with John Bradfield, its chief engineer.

Influenced by New York Hell Gate Bridge, the Sydney icon features a steel arch with four pylons.

But things were not going to be easy during the construction, which began in 1923. Changes in temperature meant that steel would expand in hot weather and contract when cold. So the engineers included two hinges at each end of the bridge to allow it to move with differences in temperature.

During construction, each half of the arch was held with steel cables, secured firmly in tunnels dug on either side of the harbour. When the halves were ready to join, the cables were slowly loosened and the ends connected with pins on one of the sides slotting into the recesses of the other side.

view from sydney harbour bridge pylon

Building of Sydney Harbour Bridge Facts

  • 52,800 tonnes of steel, 17,000 cubic metres of granite, 95,000 cubic metres of concrete were used for its construction.
  • The initial three coats of paint required 272,000 litres of paint.
  • The cost for the 1,149 m long, 49 m wide bridge was estimated at 4,217,722 pounds.
  • The actual cost was two and a half times more expensive.
  • Construction went on from 1923 to 1932.
  • The bridge opened on 19 March 1932.

arch of the sydney harbor bridge

There are a lot more other facts about Sydney Harbour Bridge. But if you are less interested in details or history and more into action and adventure, go for a Bridge Climb. It is an awesome experience, that you will never forget.

Click on the link below to read more details and book your climb now.

For more information about the bridge and why to climb it click on the images below.

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