On March 19, 1932, the Harbour Bridge was formally inaugurated. The bridge cost around 6.25 million Australian pounds ($13.5 million) in total, and it was finally paid off in 1988. However, this doesn't include interest payments which have increased the final cost by about 20%. It's also important to remember that the project was done under the government-funded "Commonwealth Works Program". If a similar program were set up today, the budget would be around $3 billion.
The arch itself is made of steel girders with an outer skin of concrete. The main pillars on which the arch sits are also made of steel with a base of concrete. There are some parts of the bridge that are not entirely clear cut: inside the arch there are four sections of vertical road traffic signal system called "choke points" where one lane ends and another begins. These were installed when motor vehicles were first allowed on the bridge, before wide enough roads existed for them to pass safely without causing congestion. The last piece of technology used on the bridge is the light-controlled barrier, at the eastern end near Circular Quay, that closes off the road during evening peak hours when there's likely to be more traffic.
At the time of its construction, the Harbour Bridge was the world's longest cantilever arch bridge. It still holds this title today.
5 Interesting Facts About The Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge began construction on July 28, 1923, employing 1,400 employees and taking more than eight years to complete at a cost of more than PS10 million. The opening ceremony was held on November 17, 1930.
Sydney's first motor vehicle, a Ford Model T, was purchased by the City Council for use by city officials. The car was acquired for US$8,750 (about PS100,000 in today's money) from the Ford Motor Company in August 1929. It was painted black with red trim to match the council chamber flags.
The bridge is now one of Australia's most famous landmarks and has been listed as an international historic site. Over four million people visit it each year.
The first section of the bridge, for cars, opened on Tuesday, November 17, 1930. The official opening ceremony was attended by about 10,000 people and saw Mayor Edward McTiernan drive across the new road section a few minutes before 11:00 am. The main span, which carries the road over the water, was then opened by King George V who was visiting Australia at the time. The total cost of the project was approximately $A14.5 million (about $A230 million in 2015 dollars).
Queen Elizabeth II inaugurated the bridge on October 30, 1991. The overall cost of construction was PS120 million (PS224 million in 2019), with the approach roads costing PS30 million (PS52 million in 2019). The bridge is made up of two parallel sets of piers, each set consisting of four large pillars surrounded by a road surface and two sidewalks. These are connected by an overhead walkway at either end. The main span of the bridge is 810 feet (250 m) long and has 14 vertical lanes for vehicles. It carries six lanes of traffic in each direction during weekday rush hours.
The bridge's official name is the Queensway Bridge. It connects the cities of Vancouver and Toronto, Canada, across the Strait of Georgia. The bridge also connects to the town of Sidney, British Columbia, by way of a 12-foot-wide (3.5 m) sidewalk on the north side of the structure.
Vancouver Mayor Philip Owen and Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman were both present for the opening of the bridge. At the time of its completion, it was the most expensive single structure ever built with a price tag of $360 million (2019 value). Today, it remains one of the highest-priced bridges in North America.
Bradfield oversaw the construction, which began in 1924. Because temporary supports were impracticable in Sydney Harbour's deep waters, the steel arch was built out from each shore. The two sides met in the center in 1930, and the bridge was officially inaugurated on March 19, 1932, with an extravagant ceremony. It was at this time that Bradfield added his trademark "X" to the underside of the deck near the midpoint.
The main span is 301 feet (93 m), and it takes eight minutes to walk across it. There are also three other bridges connected to the Harbour Bridge: Harris Bridge, Lane Cove River Bridge, and Barrenjoey Road Bridge. They all have single lanes except for Harris Bridge, which has a center divide separating traffic heading in opposite directions.
Sydney's other famous structure, the Opera House, was designed by Danish architect Jorn Sundstrom and completed in 1973. It is made of glass, metal, and concrete and is located in the harbor near the Sydney Opera House Museum. The building is used for art exhibitions, music performances, and film screenings.
In conclusion, the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Harbour Bridge are examples of an arch bridge. They are different from a suspension bridge because they use a rigid support framework instead of wires to hold up the bridge deck. Also, the Harbour Bridge is an example of a tied arch bridge while the Sydney Harbor Bridge is an example of a radial truss bridge.
The concept of building a bridge over Sydney Harbour dates back to 1815. It took around 100 years for the notion to become a reality due to economic, political, and design selection reasons. The bridge's objective was to unite individuals who resided on both sides of Sydney Harbour. These people included citizens of Sydney and visitors from outside of New South Wales.
The first attempt at constructing a bridge for Sydney over the waterway called "Sydney Cove" was made in 1815 by John Houvarder with assistance from François Nicolas Proulx. This original bridge was made of wood and had a length of 1,200 feet (365 meters). The second attempt at constructing a bridge for Sydney over the waterway called "Manly Beach" was made in 1855 by John Wolfe Barry.
In 1932, the Commonwealth Government appointed an international design competition for a new bridge for Sydney. There were many famous architects involved in the selection process including Le Corbusier, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as "Le Corbusier"; Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Friedrich von Schmidt zu Baringdorf, and Thomas Rowe d'Aubigny. The winner was the Austrian architect Adolf Hitler who designed a suspension bridge that is still used today by Australians to cross from one side of Sydney Harbour to the other.