Affectionately known as the “Coathanger”, the Sydney Harbor Bridge was opened in 1932 by the then Australian premier Jack Lang. Made of steel and containing 6 million hand driven rivets, the bridge was constructed in a span of six years. The surface area of the bridge that requires regular painting is equal to surface area of about 60 sports fields! The bridge has incorporated huge hinges to compensate for the expansion caused by Sydney’s hot sun. One can see these on both sides of the bridges at the tractions of the pylons.
Sydney Harbor Bridge is the world’s largest steel arch bridge. The total length including the approach spans is 1149 meters and the arch span is a couple of meters over 500. Under the deck, the clearance for ships is a roomy 49 meters and the top of the arch stands 134 meters above the sea level. The total weight of the steelwork is a whopping 52,800 tons, which includes the weight of the arch (39,000 tons). The 49 meter broad deck makes Sydney Harbor Bridge the world’s widest Longspan Bridge. Located in its beautiful harbor, the Sydney Harbor Bridge has become a well-known international symbol of Australia.
The walking trip to the South Eastern Pylon of the bridge is recommended for fit only. The photo and views opportunities are fantastic. This incredible symbol means the same to Sydney as the Statue of Liberty means to New York. Even though this landmark has been replaced as Sydney landmark by the bold structural design of the Opera House, the grand old bridge always comes to mind when you think of Sydney after your visit.
The bridge now carries eight lanes for vehicles, two lanes for trains, a cycle-way and a footway. The return trip by your vehicle via this bridge is charged, but you are allowed to walk across free. Cyclists need to move in a special lane. The Sydney Harbor Bridge is a vital highway feeding traffic to and from the city.