Call it what you will, but the Sydney Harbour Bridge really is Australia’s most well-known badge of recognition. Here’s some little-known fast facts about the coathanger.
On the 19th of March 1932, an estimated crowd of 300,000 to a million people lined the shores around Sydney to witness the unveiling of the momentous bridge. Considering the trials and tribulations that it took to finally open it’s gates, it’s no wonder why the Sydney Harbour Bridge attracted such crowds.
The first suggestion to build a bridge connecting the northern and southern shores of the harbour dates as far back as 1815. Put forward by a convict and architect, Francis Greenway, the construction of a connecting bridge was not to be taken seriously until decades later. It was in 1900 that the Government invited design submissions for the bridge, although all submissions were deemed unsatisfactory. Renewed interest in the Bridge following the end of the first World War saw the design by Dr. J C Bradfield finally accepted in March 1924. It took 1,400 men eight years to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge and cost the government 4.2 million Australian dollars. Beyond the general history, here’s some lesser-known facts about Sydney’s most iconic landmark.
#isangoinsider fast facts…
Length of arch span: 503 metres.
Height of top of arch: 134 metres about mean sea level.
Height of aircraft beacon: 141 metres above mean sea level.
World’s largest: It is the world’s longest single steel arch bridge.
Total length of bridge: 1149 metres including approach spans.
Bearing pins: Each of the four pins measures 4.2 metres long and 368 millimetres in diameter.
Number of rivets: Approximately 6 million.
Largest rivet: Weighed 3.5 kilograms and was 395 millimetres long.
Allowance for arch expansion: The arch may rise or fall 18 centimetres due to heating or cooling.
Record tonnage erected: 589 tonnes of steelwork was erected on the arch in one day on 26th November 1929.
Load test: The Bridge was test loaded using up to 96 steam locomotives placed in various configurations.
Paint required: 272,000 litres of paint was required to give the Bridge its initial three coats.
Users: When it opened you could walk or ride across the Bridge on horseback or in a horse carriage. Today though, you can cross the bridge via train, bus, car, bike or foot.
Traffic: Eight vehicle lanes, two train lines, a footway and a cycleway.
Flying under the bridge: Several sorties were flown in the 1940s, particularly in 1942 and 1943.