[singlepic id=5101 w=720 h=560 float=center]
long with the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is the most popular landmark in Sydney. Images of the bridge and the opera house are what immediately come to mind to people around the world when they think of Sydney.
Below are the answers to some popular questions about the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well as all the information you need to know to plan your visit to this spookily big attraction.
When was the Sydney Harbour Bridge built?
The Sydney Harbour Bridge was completed in 1932. Given the depressed times, it was an economic feat as well as an engineering triumph.
How long is the Sydney Harbour Bridge?
The length of the Sydney Harbour Bridge is 1,150 m (3,772 ft) and spans 503 m (1,650 ft) from the south shore to the north. It accommodates pedestrian walkways, two railway lines, and an eight-lane road.
How high is the Sydney Harbour Bridge?
The height of Sydney Harbour Bridge deck is 59 m (194 ft) above sea level. The Pylon Lookout, at the top of the bridge support, is 30 m higher at 89 m (292 ft) above sea level.
Who designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge?
The chief engineer of the Sydney Harbour Bridge was Dr John Bradfield. Over a 20-year period, Bradfield supervised all aspects of the bridge’s design and construction. At the opening ceremony, the highway linking the harbour’s south side and northern suburbs was named in his honour.
Interesting Sydney Harbour Bridge Facts
- The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a single-span arch bridge
- The bridge is colloquially known as the ‘Old Coat Hanger’
- The Sydney Harbour Bridge took eight years to build and was completed in 1932
- It cost $20 million to build the bridge which was paid off in 60 years
- Before the bridge was built, the only links between the north and south side of Sydney were by ferry or a circuitous 20-km (12-mile) road route which involved five bridge crossings
- The bridge was built by 1,400 workers, 16 of whom were killed in accidents during construction
- The 1932 ceremony of the opening of the bridge was disrupted when zealous royalist Francis de Groot rode forward and cut the ribbon, in honour, he claimed, of King and Empire
- Approximately 30,00 litres (6,593 gal) of paint are required for each coat, enough to cover an area equivalent to 60 soccer pitches
- Over 150,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day, about 15 times as many as in 1932
- The best way to experience the bridge is on foot (don’t expect much of a view crossing by car or train)
- Popular bridge activities include climbing the southeastern pylon to the Pylon Lookout, or ascending the great arc on a BridgeClimb
Further Sydney Harbour Bridge Information
[singlepic id=5104 w=720 h=560 float=center]
Sydney Harbour Bridge Opening
The Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened in 1932. The ceremony for the opening was disrupted when zealous royalist Francis de Groot rode forward and cut the ribbon, in honour, he claimed, of King and Empire.
Sydney Harbour Bridge Dimensions
The length of the Sydney Harbour Bridge is 1,150 m (3,772 ft) while the arch spans 503 m (1,650 ft) from the south shore to the north. The deck of the Sydney Harbour Bridge sits 59 m (194 ft) above sea level, while the Pylon Lookout at the top of the bridge support is 89 m (292 ft) above sea level.
Sydney Harbour Bridge Toll
To cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge by car you have to pay a toll. The initial toll of sixpence helped pay off the construction loan. The toll, a lot higher these days, is now used for maintenance and to pay for the 1992 Sydney Harbour Tunnel.
Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk
A Sydney Harbour Bridge walk is the best way to experience the bridge as you can stop and check out the views. If you’re crossing by car or train don’t expect much of a view as you whiz past. Staircases climb up to the bridge from both shores leading to a footpath running the length of the eastern side. A cycle way wheels along the western side. The 30-minute stroll from one end to the other offers excellent harbour views. From the other side, you can take a CityRail train from Milsons Point back to the city (to Wynyard – change there for Circular Quay, Town Hall, or Central).
As you walk across the bridge, stop off at the Pylon Lookout at the southeastern pylon. From the top of this bridge support, 89 m (292 ft) above the water, you get panoramic views of Sydney Harbour, the ferry terminals of Circular Quay, and beyond.
Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge
[singlepic id=5106 w=720 h=560 float=center]
If you’re into adventure sports, you must climb Sydney Harbour Bridge on a visit to Sydney or even if you live here. It is so popular that even famous celebrities on a visit to Sydney have climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge. To climb the bridge you have to take a 3 ½-hr tour with BridgeClimb.
Make your way through the departure lounge and extensive training session, don your headset, umbilical cord and grey jumpsuit and up you go. Thousands of people have enjoyed the spectacular bridge-top views after a 3.5-hr guided tour up ladders, catwalks and finally the upper arch of the bridge. Make sure you go to the toilet before you start the climb.
See BridgeClimb for more details.
Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon
Another popular bridge activity is to climb the southeastern pylon to the Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout. From the top of this bridge support, 89 m (292 ft) above the water, you get panoramic views of Sydney Harbour, the ferry terminals of Circular Quay, and beyond. An interesting museum charts the building of the bridge. Admission is A$9.50 for adults, A$4 for children over 7. The pylon lookout is open daily from 10am to 5pm.
Reach the pylon by walking to the far end of George Street in The Rocks toward the Harbour Bridge. Just past the Mercantile pub, you’ll see some stone steps that take you onto Cumberland Street. From there, it’s a 2-minute walk to the steps underneath the bridge on your right. Climb four flights to reach the bridge’s Western Footway, and then walk along to the first pylon.
Note: Climbing up inside the pylon involves 200 steps.