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Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour BridgeOne of Sydney's equally iconic attractions is the Sydney Harbour Bridge which functions as both an architectural attraction, landmark and transportation hub. Categorised alongside other internationally recognised landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Sydney's Harbour Bridge is known around the world. However locally, it is cheekily and more affectionately known as 'the coat hanger'.

Featuring 8 lanes of road traffic and 2 railway lines, the Sydney Harbour Bridge links the city centre to the north of Sydney. The bridge spans is 1,650 feet, allowing ships to pass through Sydney Harbour unobstructed. Officially opened in 1932, the bridge took a total of 8years to complete and is made of huge steel hinges and granite clad pylons. The bridge is anchored deep into the bedrock of both Dawes and Milsons Point.

The iconic arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge measures 530m and the railways tracks and road are raised 59m above sea level and are actually suspended from the arch. Unlike San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, the Sydney Harbour Bridge's suspension system loops up. Despite the dangers that faced the bridge's construction crew, visitors to the Sydney Harbour Bridge are able to get up close and personal with this national icon on a Bridgeclimb. Offering incredible views of Sydney both day and night, the Bridgeclimb allows visitors to climb 1500m in safety. Book a Sydney Bridgeclimb experience now.

Although the concept of a harbour crossing was entertained fifty years earlier, it was not until 4 January 1900 that tender designs and financial proposals were sought for a 'North Shore' bridge to span the harbour.

Over the next fifteen years, under the guidance of one of Australia's greatest civil structural and transport engineers, JJC Bradfield (1867-1943), the bridge project took shape; finally, an international competition was held, with Bradfield suggesting that the design should be an arch bridge with granite-faced pylons at either end. The winning design tender by Dorman and Long (recommended by Bradfield himself) proposed the single arch design No. A3 (one of six alternatives) be built from both ends (using cable supports) and joined in the middle.

The social impact of the bridge, its construction areas, and its connecting highways involving the demolition of 800 houses, would be inconceivable today. Built between the wars, the project reduced the unemployment created by the Depression and was the greatest labour intensive project to employ 19th century work practices of sledge and cold chisel.

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