Named so because of its arching, the Harbor Bridge is uniting the two big parts of the New South Wales capital ― the south one and the north one. As a matter of fact, it unites the administrative center with the commercial one.
Unlike the Opera House, which has risen up like the pearl of clam from the ocean water, decorating the contemporary Sydney in a stylish way; Harbor Bridge evokes the image of a young country through its monumental, ponderous but functional architecture. Its architecture carries its past on its shoulders, all the way from colonialism to the country's independence.
The bridge inaugurated in 1932, marked the entrance of Sydney in the rank of the biggest metropolises in the world. At its anniversary, the traffic on the bridge was stopped for 5 hours and almost half a million people crossed by foot, admiring the ocean. The view is worth it, even if some people find it rather scary. You can see the full scenery of the city in a breath-taking panorama, unique in beauty. The bridge is passed by more than 170,000 automobiles every day and its length is 503 meters.
When John Bradfield, an engineer from Queensland state had planned the bridge, he had affirmed that he wishes a structure which would humanize the landscape in the spirit of the Australian people; this means one simple, strong, and sincere bridge. There were seven variants proposed by the British constructions firm 'Dorman Long', and from those he had chosen the most simple one, consisting an arch with an opening supported on massive pylons. Bradfield's perspective of the bridge was to see it as a gate of entrance to Australia, with one portal formed by the two pylons.
Its construction took 8 years. The arch started getting a shape, and two mobile hoists weighting 120 tones each, were slipping along the water. It was, at that time, one of the most dangerous construction that required a lot of courage and acrobatic moves form its builders. The distance between the two parts arch was gradually reduced until one night in 1930, when it completely disappeared: the two parts were perfectly put together. Bradfield remained speechless when his eyes saw it, while the 'Dorman Long' director acclaimed "Thank God we're home!" 19 months later, the deck was suspended and the bridge was officially inaugurated. The governor general, Francis de Groot, cut the bridge inauguration ribbon.
The costs for Harbor reached 10 millions pounds but 16 workers who paid for its construction with their own lives, paid the highest price. The history of the bridge had 16 victims along the construction period, of which six workers fell down and the others died in work accidents. Harbor Bridge continued to be built and today it represents an important attraction for its visitors and numerous tourists. It occupies a central position in the city, and more than 20% of the population can see it at least once a day. In a panorama of 360°, you can identify the famous places of the metropolis, like its neighbor 'The Opera' and the distant 'Olympic Park'.
Being Sydney's pride for so long, Harbor Bridge continues to attract many people till date.