Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a heritage-listed steel through arch bridge in Sydney, spanning Sydney Harbour from the central business district (CBD) to the North Shore. The view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is widely regarded as an iconic image of Sydney, and of Australia itself. Nicknamed "The Coathanger" because of its arch-based design, the bridge carries rail, vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic.[1][2]

Sydney Harbour Bridge
View from Port Jackson
Coordinates33°51′08″S 151°12′38″E
CrossesPort Jackson (Sydney Harbour)
LocaleSydney, New South Wales, Australia
BeginsDawes Point (south)
EndsMilsons Point (north)
OwnerGovernment of New South Wales
Maintained byTransport for NSW
Preceded byGladesville Bridge
DesignThrough arch bridge
Pier constructionGranite-faced concrete
Total length1,149 m (3,770 ft)
Width48.8 m (160 ft)
Height134 m (440 ft)
Longest span503 m (1,650 ft)
No. of spans1
Clearance below49 m (161 ft) at mid-span
No. of lanes8
Rail characteristics
No. of tracks2
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Electrified1500 V DC overhead
Constructed byDorman Long & Co
Construction start28 July 1923 (1923-07-28)
Construction end19 January 1932 (1932-01-19)
Opened19 March 1932 (1932-03-19)
Inaugurated19 March 1932 (1932-03-19)
Replaced bySydney Harbour Tunnel
(concurrent use since 1992:
motor vehicles only)
TollTime-of-day (southbound only)
Official nameSydney Harbour Bridge, Bradfield Hwy, Dawes Point - Milsons Point, NSW, Australia
TypeNational Heritage List
Designated19 March 2007
Reference no.105888
Place File No.1/12/036/0065
Official nameSydney Harbour Bridge, approaches and viaducts (road and rail); Pylon Lookout; Milsons Point Railway Station; Bradfield Park; Bradfield Park North; Dawes Point Park; Bradfield Highway
TypeState heritage (complex / group)
Designated25 June 1999
Reference no.781
TypeRoad Bridge
CategoryTransport - Land

Under the direction of John Bradfield of the New South Wales Department of Public Works, the bridge was designed and built by British firm Dorman Long of Middlesbrough (who based the design on their 1928 Tyne Bridge in Newcastle upon Tyne) and opened in 1932.[3][4] The bridge's general design, which Bradfield tasked the NSW Department of Public Works with producing, was a rough copy of the Hell Gate Bridge in New York City. This general design document, however, did not form any part of the request for tender, which remained sufficiently broad as to allow cantilever (Bradfield's original preference) and even suspension bridge proposals. The design chosen from the tender responses was original work created by Dorman Long, who leveraged some of the design from their own Tyne Bridge which, though superficially similar, does not share the graceful flares at the ends of each arch which make the harbour bridge so distinctive.[5] It is the eighth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world and the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 m (440 ft) from top to water level.[6] It was also the world's widest long-span bridge, at 48.8 m (160 ft) wide, until construction of the new Port Mann Bridge in Vancouver was completed in 2012.[7][8]

The Sydney Harbour Bridge went on to be added to the Australian National Heritage List on 19 March 2007[9] and to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 25 June 1999.[10]

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