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Sydney Harbour Bridge

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A historic bridge and an Australian icon

One of the most well known images of Australia is the Sydney Harbour Bridge that links the southern and northern shores of Sydney Harbour.

Sydney Fireworks 2005

The bridge is used as a main feature of the spectacular fire works display done as part of each New Years Eve celebrations. 

BridgeClimb participants on Sydney Harbour Bridge
By No machine-readable author provided. CommonsHelper2 Bot assumed (based on copyright claims). [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

The bridge can be climbed to the summit during the day and night, with supervised tours taking about 3.5 hours included training and preparations. 

Coat hanger bridge Sydney - most ramínko Sydney - panoramio

The four bridge pylons are encased with over 18,000 cubic metres of granite quarried and cut by 250 Australian, Scottish and Italian masons.

The very top of the bridge is 134 metres above the harbour

The bridge was built to solve the problem of moving the thousands of people who lived on the northern shores of the harbour between their homes and work in the city. Up until the bridge being put in place this was mostly solved through harbour ferries, but as the city grew this became quite impractical. When first opened in 1932, the daily traffic across the bridge was around 11,000 and which has now grown to more than 180,000 vehicles and 200 trains per day.

Eighteen years and 53,000 tonnes of steel

A bridge crossing the harbour had been suggested several times for more than a century before the actual planning began and then it took 18 years before the bridge was finally opened.

The construction of the bridge began in 1924 with 1,400 men working on the 53,000 tonnes of steel that make it up.  The initial painting of the bridge took 270,000 litres of paint and is something that has never stopped as a continuing maintenance action.