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Sydney Harbour Bridge

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Sydney Harbour Bridge


Structure in General

existing [completed]


bicycle traffic foot traffic rail traffic vehicle traffic


  • The bridge carries road, rail and pedestrian traffic.
  • In order to make way for the bridge, around 800 families were displaced who received no compensation for their demolished homes.
  • The length of the arch span is 503 metres (1,650 feet), the top of the arch is 134 metres (440 feet) above mean sea level whilst the shipping clearance is 49 metres (160.7 feet).
  • The total length of the bridge including the approach spans is 1,149 metres (3,670 feet).
  • The four decorative pylons are each 89 metres (292 feet) high and are made of concrete, clad in granite.
  • The bridge is the world's largest (though not longest) steel arch bridge, rising 134 metres (440 feet) above Sydney harbour.
  • Opened on March 19th 1932.
  • The bridge cost £4.2m to build and was constructed by 1,400 men from 53,000 tonnes of steel held together by around 6 million rivets.
  • Due to variations in climatic temperature, the top of the arch rises and falls by roughly 18 centimetres (7 inches).
  • Around 160,000 vehicles traverse the bridge each day.
  • It is one of the world's widest bridges with a roadway deck of 49 metres.
  • It was the world's second longest steel arch span when it was completed, surpassed by the Bayonne Bridge in New York and New Jersey, which was completed only four months earlier.
  • Steel for the bridge was sourced 79% from England and 21% from Australia.
  • The four main bearings sit on foundations which are 12.2 metres (40 feet) deep.
  • The bridge requires around 90,000 litres (20,000 gallons) of paint to complete one coat.
  • Architect John Bradfield's design of the harbour bridge was influenced by a visit to Hell's Gate Bridge, New Jersey, USA in 1917.
  • Since 1998 the bridge can be ascended by organised climb which takes three-and-a-half hours.
  • Due to its shape, the bridge's nickname is the 'coathanger'.

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City of Sydney
New South Wales

Technical Data

462.71 ft
441.31 ft

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