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20 Things You Should Know About Sydney Harbour Bridge

19 September 2008 78 Comments

Approximately 250,000 people attended the celebration of ’s 75th birthday last year. Why people love this bridge so much?
Here is 20 things you should know about Harbour Bridge.

1. The bridge was designed and built by a company from Middlesbrough England, Dorman Long and Co. Ltd.

2. Sydney Harbour Bridge’s design was similar to New York’s Hell Gate Bridge built in 1916. The design was also similar to that of the earlier Tyne Bridge in Newcastle Upon Tyne in England.

3. Sydney Harbour Bridge took 1400 men eight years to build at a cost of £4.2 million. Six million hand driven rivets and 52,800 tonnes of steel were used in its construction.

4. It now carries eight traffic lanes and two rail lines. (but at the time of its construction the two eastern lanes were tram tracks. They were converted to road traffic when Sydney closed down its tram system in the 1950s. )There are still one footpath on its eastern side, and a bicycle path along its western side.

5. According to , it is the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 metres (429.6 ft) from top to water level. It is also the fourth-longest spanning-arch bridge in the world.

6 According to Guinness World Records, it is the widest long-span bridge in the world, measuring 48.8 m (151.3 ft) wide.

7. As many as 800 families and a high school campus living in the Bridge’s path were relocated and their house demolished, The owners of these homes received compensation, but their occupants did not. Sixteen workers lives were lost during construction of the Bridge.

8. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is not completely stationary. It can rise or fall up to 18cm depending on the surrounding temperature.

9. 96 steam locomotives were positioned in various ways to test the load capacity of the Bridge before the bridge formally opening .

10. Sydney Harbour Bridge was official opening on 19 March, 1932.

11. Sydney Harbour Bridge was regarded as a symbol of triumph over Depression times. Because it kept many workers employed during the Depression-era, it gained the nickname “the Iron Lung”,

12. The bridge has been the site of 40 suicides, many of which took place during the Great Depression.

13. In the early days, it cost a horse and rider three pence and a car six pence to cross. Now horse and riders cannot cross, you can bicycle or walk across the Bridge for free. Cars cost A$3.00 for a southbound trip and it is free to go northbound.

14. The road across the bridge is known as the Bradfield Highway. It is about 2.4 km (1.5 miles) long, making it one of the shortest highways in Australia.

15. In 1932, the average annual daily traffic was around 11,000 and now it is around 160,000 vehicles per day.

16. There are two pairs of pylons at each end of Bridge: The south eastern pylon contains a museum and tourist centre. The south western pylon is used by the New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) as a base for lookout the bridge and the roads around that area. The two pylons on the north shore are now venting chimneys for fumes from the Sydney Harbour Tunnel.

17. Every New Year’s Eve, the numbers for the countdown appear on the pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

18. The bridge is equipped for tidal flow operation, permitting the direction of traffic flow on the bridge to be altered to better suit the morning and evening rush hours’ traffic patterns.

19. There were some reports about flying under the Bridge. The first story reported that in 1943, But the most famous one took place on 22 October 1943, Flight Lieutenant Peter Isaacson and his crew flew the huge Australian Lancaster under the Harbour Bridge during a tour around Australia to raise funds for the war effort.

20. BridgeClimb started in 1998. After climbing to the top of the brisge, the view is absolutely breathtaking. It was considered as one of the ‘must do fantastic thing’ while travel to Sydney, with royals and celebrities such as Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Denmark, Matt Damon, Hugo Weaving, Sarah Ferguson, Cathy Freeman, Kylie Minogue and Kostya Tszyu all having done the Climb.

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