Just about everywhere you look these days you’ll come across a bridge of some sort, linking islands, a way to cross a river or even a harbour. The Golden Gate bridge is a well known one, a suspension bridge which spans the Golden Gate, better known as the opening of the San Francisco Bay which runs into the Pacific Ocean.
First bridge I remember going over was London Bridge, no not the famous one in England, this is a little one built to direct traffic over the railways in my hometown, another I have been over would be the West Gate Bridge in Melbourne, there certainly is a difference in construction and I’m yet to go and see or even cross any of the three magnificent bridges I’ll post about soon on here.
The Coathanger – Sydney Harbour Bridge
Believe it or not, the person who came up with the idea for a bridge to be built connecting both ends of the harbour, was convict and noted architect Francis Greenway in 1815, it was not until 1825 that those with some status in the colony took note and suggested the idea to those higher up.
The design was found when a worldwide competition was held in 1900 by the Lyne Government who were going about building a new central railway station. Norman Selfe took second prize with his suspension bridge design but the winner was never decided on and so the competition was held again and this time Selfe won outright with his design for a steel cantilever bridge, unfortunately though, due to an economic downturn and a change of government in 1904, construction never began.
The design and building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as we know it today was done by Dorman Long and Co Ltd and was opened in 1932, the influence of the bridge was thanks to the Hell Gate Bridge in New York. Until the construction of the new Port Mann Bridge in Vancouver, Sydney Harbour Bridge was the widest bridge constructed, it measures in at 48.8 meters wide. It is also the sixth longest spanning arch bridge in the world and it is the tallest steel arch bridge at 134 meters from top to water level.
Sydney Harbour Bridge is a well known Australian tourist attraction, you can take the ‘bridge climb’ where you can stand at the very top of the bridge and look out over the harbour, down on the Opera House and see as far as the eye can see in every direction. It is also the main attraction at New Years with hundreds and hundreds of fireworks going off illuminating the bridge and surrounds and attracting thousands of onlookers.
Next bridge will be one you can find in Japan 🙂