19 March 2007

The Coathanger

The Sydney Harbour Bridge turns seventy-five today. This event was celebrated yesterday when the bridge was closed to traffic and over 200 000 people walked across it. An article in the newspaper said the bridge was more iconic of Sydney than even the Opera House: the bridge represented the working masses, while the Opera House was symbolic of the elite few.
The Bridge was instrumental to the growth of Sydney. Prior to the bridge's construction, it was quite difficult to get from Sydney to the North Shore. It could take a day or more to travel west around the cape to get back to North Sydney, effectively moving a mere 500 metres north.

Yesterday's paper included several letters from readers about the bridge. The one I found most amusing was from a man written about his mother. He reported that when she was younger, she would sit on the rocks and watch as the bridge was constructed. She and her friends would sit and wonder how they would cross up and over the arch. They were quite disappointed when they discovered that the crossing was suspended under the arch.

You can read more about the bridge in the Sydney Morning Herald articles It's our bridge and A span of 75 years is a vision worth celebrating. It includes many more personal stories of what the bridge means to Sydney and its residents.

2 comments:

patrick said...

Chris,
Any chance Sydney has to do like NY and have multiple bridges spanning across the cove? Also, everything's in meters, can you tell me how long it is in say yards or something? I'm too lazy to look for the conversion.

Chris said...

Yes, there are five bridges across the harbour at various points (by my count on Google Maps) plus an underwater tunnel.
500 metres is about 545 yards.