Harbour BridgeThe Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of Sydney's most famous
landmarks. Completed in 1932, the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge was an
economic feat as well as an engineering triumph. Prior to the Bridge being built, the only
links between the city centre in the south and the residential north were by ferry or by a
20 km (12 ½ mile) road route that involved five bridge crossings.
The Harbour Bridge, known as the "Coat Hanger", took eight years to
build, including the railroad line. The bridge was manufactured in sections on the site of
the future Luna Park.
The Harbour Bridge was officially opened on 19 March 1932. The total cost of the Bridge
was approximately 6.25 million Australian pounds, and was eventually paid off in 1988. The
initial toll for a car was 6 pence and a horse and rider was 3 pence. Today the toll costs
$2.00. The toll is now used for bridge maintenance and to pay for the Sydney Harbour
Tunnel. The annual maintenance costs are approximately A$5 million. Over 150,000 vehicles
cross the bridge each day.
The bridge was built by 1,400 workers, 16 of whom were killed in accidents during
construction. Painting the bridge has become an endless task. Approximately 80,000 liters
(21,000 gallons) of paint are required for each coat, enough to cover an area equivalent
to 60 soccer fields. Before Paul Hogan (from the movie 'Crocodile Dundee') became famous,
he worked on the Sydney Harbour Bridge as a painter.
Recommended for all visitors to Sydney is the Pylon Lookout. If you are feeling energetic,
you can climb the 200 steps for a spectacular view of Sydney Harbour. Inside the Lookout
is a fascinating display on how this bridge was built. Entry to the Pylon is from the
pedestrian walkway on the Harbour Bridge. You can get to the walkway via the stairs in
Cumberland Street, The Rocks, or from near Milsons Point Station on the north side. The
Pylon Lookout is open every day except Christmas Day.