Sydney Bridge – Sydney, Australia

Fear of height (“Acrophobia” is the cool name) is always in my dictionary. My feet will be flooded with sweat as soon as I get anxious over the height. Not to mention the special aroma after I take off my thick socks. Believe me; you wouldn’t have your cannibal appetite by then.

Once I got a chance to visit Sydney for the second time, I decided to give Sydney Bridge a try. After a 5 seconds breathalyzer test (no beer before climb please!), a 10 minutes change to the jump suits with all the safety gears (I look like semi-pro astronaut), a 30 minutes briefing on simple rules and regulations (remember to visit the loo!), I was ready for the 2.5 hours climb.

There are a few sections on the climb:
1. Lower Chord with see-through panel to walk-on over the street below the deck (Don’t jump, it’s solid rocks down there!)
2. Lower Chord with see-through panel to walk-on over the sea below the deck (Don’t jump, it’s Sydney Harbor down there!)
3. Deck Level with all the traffic. (Steep staircase!)
4. Climb through the Arch to the top. (Mild climb! Enjoy the breeze overlooking the skyline! It’s priceless)

Although it is a hefty price tag, but I enjoy it to the fullest! Some facts to share for your upcoming memorable experience:

How tall is the Bridge?
The highest point of the arch is 134 meters (440 feet). The pylons are 89 meters (292 feet) high. The Bridge was the highest point in Sydney Australia until 1967.

How long is the Bridge?
The longest span of the Bridge is 503 meters (1650 feet). The total length is 1.15km (3770 feet).
The Sydney Harbor Bridge is the fourth longest single-span steel arch bridge in the world, behind Bayonne Bridge in New York, The New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia and the longest which is The Lupu Bridge in Shanghai.

How wide is the Bridge?
The Bridge is 49 meters (161 feet) wide, making it the widest single-span Bridge in the world.
How heavy is the bridge?
The weight of the steel arch is 39,000 tons

How long did it take to build the Bridge?
It took over eight years to build the Bridge, between July 1923 and March 1932. Planning for the Bridge began as early as 1912.

When was the Bridge opened?
The Bridge was opened in Sydney Australia on 19 March 1932.

What materials are used in the Bridge?
The girders are made from steel (79% imported from England and 21% from Australian sources). The pylons are made of concrete faced in granite, which was quarried near Moruya, 300km from Sydney. Around 6 million rivets and 52,800 tonnes of steelwork and 17,000 cubic meters of granite have gone into the construction of the Bridge.

How was the Bridge Constructed?
The approach spans were erected first, and then work began on the main arch. Two half-arches were built out from each side of the Harbor. Steel members were transported on barges into the Harbor and hauled into position with creeper cranes mounted on the arches, which built the Bridge out before them as they inched forward.
The two halves of the arch were joined on 19 August 1930, bringing a well needed smile to the face of depression-era Sydney. The road deck was then hung from the arch from the centre outwards and was in place within nine months.

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