Steel made to last: Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the world’s most recognised and iconic steel landmarks. Designed and built by British firm Dorman Long and Co Ltd, the bridge was opened to the public on 19 March 1932. The steel structure is the tallest steel arch bridge in the world and around 200,000 cars use the bridge on a daily basis. Here’s everything you need to know about one of Australia’s steel icons.

The structure

The arch of the bridge is made up of two 28-panel arch trusses. These trusses vary in size between 18 to 57 meters. With a span of 504 meters and a summit of 134 meters above sea level, the bridge is one of the tallest in the world. Large steel bearings support the ends of the arch which allow it to rotate, ensuring the bridge will not be damaged by the changing temperature.

At the end of the arch is a pair of concrete pylons that are around 89m high. Designed by Scottish architect Thomas S Tait, the pylons are essential in supporting the weight from the arch. They were not part of the original design, but add much-needed visual appeal to the bridge. The pylons on the south-east side of the bridge house a museum and tourist lookout with 360-degree views.

Historical significance

The bridge is a significant landmark in Australia and the world. As Australia was becoming a developing country, our industrial industry was starting to flourish. Despite being built post First World War and opened during the Great Depression, jobs and prosperity grew in this period. Nicknamed the “Iron Lung”, the building of the bridge kept workers employed during this difficult period. Australia’s manufacturing, industrial and engineering sectors were all key to the success of the completion of the bridge.

Australian steel is among the best in the world. Quality assured and made to last, there is nothing it can’t handle. ShapeCUT has the largest range of steel stocked plate in Australia. If you would like to know more about our products or services, get in touch with us today. The team at ShapeCut will answer any query you have in relation to your steel fabrication needs.