Sydney Harbour Bridge

International icon for Sydney and Australia.

The widest and one of the longest steel arch bridges in the world, the bridge was planned in the early 20th century to span some 500m of harbour between the Sydney CBD and North Sydney, as part of a major upgrade of the Sydney city transportation network, which included the City Circle underground railway.

The bridge was designed to take two rail lines from Wynyard Station in the CBD to Milson's Point in North Sydney – as well as six lanes of road traffic, two tram lines and a footpath on each side.

After decades of argument and evaluations, onsite works started in July 1923, the main arch began in October 1928, and the structure opened for traffic in March 1932. Next time you look at that magnificent arch, just remember that it weighs some 39,000 tonnes and ask yourself "How would I do that?"

Crowds of around one million people enjoyed the opening celebrations, which included a massive water pageant and an airforce fly-by. NSW Premier Jack Lang was about to cut the ribbon and officially open the bridge, when protester, Captain Francis De Groot of the paramilitary group, the New Guard, flashed by on his horse and slashed it with his sword instead!

Sydney's tallest structure until 1967, there are many more amazing stories this bridge could tell… as well as some fascinating statistics.

 

 

Sponsors

  • Australian Constructors Association
  • Cochlear
  • Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO)
  • Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO)
  • Leighton Holdings Limited
  • Resmed
  • Thales
  • ARUP
  • KBR