When the Sydney Harbour Bridge was officially opened in March 19, 1932, it was labeled as one of the greatest engineering projects during its time. The construction formally began in July 28, 1923 through a ceremony called the “turning of the first sod”. From then and up to now, the Sydney Harbour Bridge stood as a famous landmark in the heart of Sydney. The bridge was built to connect Dawes Point in the city of Sydney and Milsons Point at the North Shore. Ferries used to be the local’s mode of transportation when the bridge wasn’t constructed yet bringing people to Parramatta and back. After the completion of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it became a busy passageway for all types of vehicles including bicycles.
For the Australians and Sydneysiders, they simply call it “the bridge”. The bridge was designed like an arch and so this is why it was nicknamed as “The Coathanger”. The three men behind the design and construction of the bridge were Sir Ralph Freeman, Edward Judge and Lawrence Ennis. The entire project was under the management of Bradfield. Just like any huge project, there were some troubles along the way. At one point, a disagreement occurred between Freeman and Bradfield about the design of the bridge and so there is no specific person to pinpoint who actually created the design because another person came into the picture by the name of Arthur Plunkett. Another issue was the demolition of 469 buildings composed of commercial establishments and residential homes that paved the way for the foundation to be erected.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge operates with six major lanes for road traffic. On the eastern side are two additional lanes used as tram tracks. A path for pedestrian is also built adjacent to the road traffic. Along the western side is a dedicated lane for bicycles. Another two lanes were constructed between the western bicycle path and main roadway for Sydney Trains T1 North Shore Line. In terms of statistics, the bridge is measured at 49 meters wide, 503 meters long and 134 meters high. Across the bridge is a 2.4-kilometer road known as the Bradfield Highway.
91 years today, the Sydney Harbour Bridge stands as one of the iconic attractions in central Sydney including the Sydney Opera House. Visitors and tourists can enjoy a breathtaking experience called ‘The Climb’. Upon reaching the summit, a 360-degree panoramic view of the city can be witnessed. ‘The Climb’ is actually a paid tour that allows tourists to reach the highest point through catwalks just below the road deck leading to the southeast pylon. People with acrophobia may not endure this tour but for those who are into nerve-wracking exploration, “The Climb” is the best journey to take. They say that crossing the spine of the bridge is a celebration to make because of overcoming one’s fear.
New Year’s Eve culminates at the Sydney Harbour Bridge as a grandiose celebration of computer-automated pyrotechnic fireworks that takes place at exactly 12 midnight. Both locals and tourists flock to the park near the bridge hours before New Year to witness one of the most awaited events in Sydney. As fireworks take off from the bridge, a spectrum of colors approach the sky and spectators applause in awe and wonder.
While in Sydney, the Sydney Harbour Bridge will never run out of sight.