It is the 80th Birthday of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia; I think it is very well known to most people, mainly because of the New Years Eve fireworks that are always held around the bridge and harbour. What you may not know is that a lot of Aussies call this bridge “The Coathanger” for obvious reasons. 🙂
The Bridge was officially opened in March 1932. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is in the Guinness World Records as the world’s widest long-span bridge. It is the 5th longest spanning-ach bridge, and the tallest steel arch bridge. It is 134 metres or 440 feet high.
The bridge carries rail, all road vehicles, and of course pushbikes and pedestrians. During very hot days in summer, the height of the arch actually expands around 18 cm or 7.1 inches. Large steel pins support each end of the arch allowing it to rotate for the expansion and contraction; this avoids any damage that would normally occur.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge requires constant inspections and other maintenance work to keep it safe for the public, and to protect from corrosion. Among the trades employed on the bridge are painters, ironworkers, boilermakers, fitters, electricians, plasterers, carpenters, plumbers, and riggers.
The most noticeable maintenance work on the bridge involves painting. The steelwork of the bridge that needs to be painted is a combined 485,000 square metres (120 acres), the equivalent of sixty football fields. Each coat on the bridge requires some 30,000 litres (6,600 imp gal) of paint. A special fast-drying paint is used, so that any paint drops have dried before reaching the vehicles or bridge surface. One notable identity from previous bridge-painting crews is Australian comedian and actor Paul Hogan, who worked as a bridge painter before rising to media fame in the 1970s.
If you would like to know more about the bridge, Wikipedia has got an excellent article on this, with a world of information.
Other related posts from my blog:
- Sydney New Years Eve Fireworks 2012 (Pictures/Video)
- How Does a Ship “Shrink” to Fit Under a Bridge? (Video)
- Vivid Festival Sydney 2011 (Video’s)