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Celebrates Australia’s landmarks – Sydney Harbor Bridge turns 90

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A coat hanger as a milestone: Sydney Harbor Bridge turns 90 years old

The Sydney Milestone turns 90 on March 19th

© Sergi Reboredo / Picture Alliance

Writers are not the only ones excited when it comes to Australia’s Sydney Harbor Bridge. Now celebrating its milestone birthday, steel construction is an architectural masterpiece. Its peak every year on New Year’s Eve.

“This bridge was built by people with coal mountains and a warship’s melting blast furnace,” the best-selling author Bill Bryson once wrote about the nearly 53,000 – tonne Sydney Harbor Bridge: “This is a magnificent building.”

With the nearby opera house, uru rock and kangaroo, the striking system is one of Australia’s landmarks. Although the port bridge is already 90 years old, its design will not be destroyed by time. It is simultaneously the main transport artery and sign.

Thousands of people at the inauguration ceremony in Australia

Look back: it was a mega event when the Harbor Bridge opened with great fanfare on March 19, 1932. 750,000 people are flocking to do it for the first time in amazement. “Great job done!” A commentator at the time cheered. After seven years of construction, the bridge finally “belongs to the man on the street – how he captured it!” Movie footage shows a large crowd pushing onto the bridge.

Tourists take a photo in front of a port bridge in Australia

The Iconic Bridge is a popular photo center for tourists.

© Steven Sappho / Pixar Alliance

At dizziness, 1600 people are involved in dangerous construction work. 16 of them did not survive. “Every day these men went across the bridge on their way to a soldier’s battle, not sure if they would come alive,” said construction supervisor Lawrence Ennis. But it was a great recession, and there was a high demand for any work.

A popular photo theme for tourists visiting Australia

“Code Hangar” is what Sydneys affectionately call their icon. The comparison is a bit late because it is not filigree and wire. But the shape fits: with a gap of 503 meters, it is still one of the longest arch bridges in the world. It connects the center of the metropolis with the northern suburbs. Anyone who is not afraid of heights has been able to climb the ramp up to 134 meters using BridgeClimb since 1998. Exciting online comments from brave climbers range from “brilliant experience” to “exciting” and “wonderful”.

But seeing from the ground is unforgettable. When tourists first approach the harbor from the Royal Botanic Garden or disembark at a boat on the Circular Quay, many breathe a sigh of relief: the white, built-in roofs of the Opera House shine in the sun, and the harbor bridge rises majestically behind them. Water is blue water. This architectural double stroke of genius is one of the most beautiful and beloved photo themes in the world.

“The Opera House is a beautiful building and I do not want to underestimate it, but my heart belongs to the harbor bridge,” Bill Bryson wrote with his Australian tribute, breakfast kangaroos. She’s not very sacred, but she’s very dominant: “She pushes into the picture from all corners of the city, from the most oblique directions, like an uncle she wants to be in every photo.”

New Year’s fireworks on the harbor bridge

Some dates: Original construction began in 1925. Over the next few years, six million rivets were tightened by hand. In August 1930, the time finally came and the arch closed. With the slopes, the harbor bridge is 1,150 meters long and 50 meters wide. On weekdays, nearly 200,000 cars travel eight lanes from one part of the city to another. There are two railroad tracks and tracks for pedestrians and cyclists. In 2004, the structure was named the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest bridge in the world.

New Year's fireworks at Sydney Harbor Bridge

At the beginning of the year, you can see a spectacular fireworks display at the milestone

© Stringer / Picture Alliance

Half the world views the bridge once a year – on New Year’s Day. When the New Year sounds in the Town Under, one of the most amazing fireworks on earth shines above the steel.

Coincidentally, in early 2018 another symbol of Australia came to the bridge without a warning: a small kangaroo suddenly jumped over the harbor bridge. Swamp Wallaby jumped towards the center of the eight lanes just before sunrise and therefore before rush hour. Several police cars and police officers from the cavalry had to go upstairs to pick up the marsupial from the bridge.

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DPA