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19 August - Two halves of the Sydney Harbour Bridge meet

Australian Events for the month of August
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19 August - Two halves of the Sydney Harbour Bridge meet

Unread postby Max ADU » Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:07 pm

Today in Australian History
Tuesday, August 19, 1930.

**see the full construction and how Sydney Harbour change since 1930

The two halves of the Sydney Harbour Bridge are joined.

The Sydney Harbour
Bridge (also known as “The Coat Hanger” connects the Sydney CBD with the North Shore commercial and residential areas on Sydney Harbour.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the largest steel arch bridge in the world, though not the longest, with the top of the bridge standing 134 metres above the harbour. At 48.8 m wide, it is the widest bridge in the world (as of 2004).

In 1912, John Bradfield was appointed chief engineer of the bridge project, which also had to include a railway.

Plans were completed in 1916 but the advent of WWI delayed implementation until 1922.

Money, and manpower needed
Construction of the bridge began in 1924, and took 1400 men eight years to build at a cost of £4.2 million. Sixteen lives were lost during its construction, while up to 800 families living in the path of the proposed Bridge path were relocated and their homes demolished when construction started.

The arch of the
Sydney Harbour Bridge was built in two halves cantilevering from each shore and tying each half back by steel cables that were anchored into U-shaped tunnels excavated into the sandstone rock.

Construction of the two halves of the arch began late in 1928, and the two halves were properly joined around 10pm on 19 August 1930.

Construction of the bridge
The total weight of the steelwork of the bridge, including the arch and approach spans, is 52,800 tonnes, with the arch itself weighing 39,000 tonnes. About 79% of the steel was imported from England, with the rest being sourced from Australia.

The bridge is held together by six million Australian-made hand-driven rivets supplied by the McPherson company of Melbourne

The rivets were heated red-hot and inserted into the plates; the headless end was immediately rounded over with a large pneumatic rivet gun.The largest of the rivets used weighed 3.5 kg (8 lb) and was 39.5 cm (15.6 in) long.

The practice of riveting large steel structures, rather than welding, was, at the time, a proven and understood construction technique, whilst structural welding
had not at that stage been adequately developed for use on the bridge.

Construction of the Pylons
At each end of the arch
stands a pair of 89 m (292 ft) high concrete pylons, faced with granite.

Some 250 Australian, Scottish, and Italian stonemasons and their families relocated to a temporary settlement at Moruya, NSW, 300 kilometres (186 mi) south of Sydney.

They quarried around 18,000 cubic metres (635,664 cu ft) of granite for the bridge pylons.

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