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Abstract

There are few iconic man-made features on earth, one of them being the Sidney Harbour Bridge. The Sidney Harbour Bridge is found in Sydney, Australia. The Sidney Harbour Bridge connects Sydney Central Business District, CBD, to the northern shore commercial and the residential places that are found in the Sydney harbor. The Sidney Harbour Bridge has a magnificent water vista and a Sydney Opera House near each other, making it look like an iconic image for Sydney and Australia cities (Nicholson, 2000). The Sidney Harbour Bridge was declared ready for use on 19th March 1932. The Sidney Harbour Bridge has given people a lot of affection, terming it as “the Coathanger” taking its meaning from the design with an arc. The Sidney Harbour Bridge was the tallest structure in town until 1967 when other tall structures were established in the city. The beauty and niceness of the Sidney Harbour Bridge were within the people until they realized that there is another in the United States of America that was opened in 1931 and with a total length of 700 mm longer than the Sidney Harbour Bridge. Nonetheless, this was not the problem as for the next 50 years, the children of the city were taught that this was the tallest building in the world with a single arc. Nonetheless, it has remained as the leading largest building and not the tallest as claimed earlier. The construction, design, and the beauty of the Sidney Harbour Bridge make it iconic in the world (Nicholson, 2000).

Introduction

The Sidney Harbour Bridge is one of the iconic features of the world today. The Sidney Harbour Bridge is massive in its appearance, history, and the usage. This project, longed a couple of years ago, has stood out to be the main structure in Sydney, for some years being the tallest building, and now being the largest building of its kind (Lalor & Lalor, 2006). It is a bridge that is used to cross from one side to the other side separated by a mass of water. The Sidney Harbour Bridge attracts many tourists and observers who love the uniqueness of the structure right from the design, the outlook, and the usage in its making. The outlook of the Sidney Harbour Bridge is impeccable. It is found in the serene environment, separating two major iconic places with other iconic buildings that were established almost the same time like the Opera building. The design of Sidney Harbour Bridge captures much of the skill that was used, the coloring, and many other features that give it a notification to be iconic and a structure of all times.

This study has endeavored to explore on the Sidney Harbour Bridge found in Sydney, Australia. The research paper covers some areas that are significant in this structure including the design and the construction. There is so much that is relevant to the structure when compared with others from the rest of the word. This study has not limited itself to the description of the Sidney Harbour Bridge from the design, the construction, the opening, and the use of the structure. The basis of the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge and its usage in Sydney has been explored. Much of the study has also centered on bringing out the different kinds of literature that have been presented covering the Sidney Harbour Bridge (Nicholson, 2000). In a bid to understand the relevance of the building in the modern time era, the study has intended to determine the benefits that have been realized from the implementation of the plan to have the Sidney Harbour Bridge project. Perhaps the main reason is for transport. Nonetheless, there are other factors of the contribution that have been realized with the establishment of this structure in Sydney, Australia. Part of the description of the Sidney Harbour Bridge has narrowed to the time of establishment of the project; the challenges faced during the implementation of the project the state of the project now, and the future states of the Sidney Harbour Bridge project (Nicholson, 2000).

The Sidney Harbour Bridge is a massive project that involves a diversity of the design and engineering applications. It is one structure that proves that everything is possible, yet demonstrating the extend of the skill and expertise that was present almost a century ago. The designing of the Sidney Harbour Bridge has a lot to be covered throughout the term paper project. The Sidney Harbour Bridge dominates most of the many structures that have been in place for a long time, remaining sustainable and without any form of controversy (Lalor & Lalor, 2006). The special features are attributed that have been assigned to the Sidney Harbour Bridge make it have the best of the applications in different fields of life including the discipline of design and engineering, the tourism, history, and culture. A few will realize that the Sidney Harbour Bridge has been a structure that has demonstrated the history and culture of the people of Australia, and more so the history of the art and design that has been in the country since the building of the Sidney Harbour Bridge. Moreover, the special features and attributes accredited to this structure are instrumental towards making future structures. A lot can be learnt from this structure.

Literature Review

At one point in the development of Australia as a country, there were two cities. There was one city that was situated on the south shore, hosting close to 600,000 people. There was also another city situated on the northern shore and had people close to 300,000. These people were exchanging travels from one city to the next through the ferry or using another bridge called the Gladstone Bridge. This journey could take over some hours, and it became a concern for the parliament that was seating in Australian government. There was a problem to create the link between these two cities since it was consuming a lot of time and wasting the resources of the people living in the two cities. Some people were living in one city but working in the other city, and vice versa. Moreover, the Gladstone Bridge had its challenges in the making. It was inefficient, crowded, and risky regarding the regular heavy usage. This problem lasted for many years. In 1922, it was necessary for the government to find a solution to this problem (Lalor & Lalor, 2006). The parliament of the south Wales had to pass a law that would allow the construction of a major bridge that would be instrumental in solving the problems of the two cities and its interconnection. The parliament approximate the costs and the necessary designs that were to be used in the construction of the now called Sidney Harbour Bridge. The parliament was in agreement to foster the construction of this structure, giving the rights to a person called J.J.C Bradford to be in charge of the project (Lalor & Lalor, 2006).

The contract was won by Dorman, Long and company, who started to oversee the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge. It was passed by the parliament that the construction of the project was to cost the country many finances. One critical aspect that was agreed upon was to make use of the materials and resources from within the country in order to save for the protection of these resources and hence reduce the cost to be incurred. The engineers to oversee the building of the Sidney Harbour Bridge were to come from the government of Australia. Further analysis of the project were to be done by the government of Australia through supervision by the parliament. The main issue that was of concern in the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge was the necessity that the parliament saw in the suffering and inefficiencies being experienced between these two cities. It was important to have a connection between the cities in order to ease activities like the trade activities and other commercial and non-commercial activities that were taking place between the two cities. The Parliament had drawn a number of considerations and studies that later brought about the idea of having to construct this structure between the two cities. What became necessary was the connection between the two cities, and hence creation of effectiveness and efficiency in the business activities within the two cities.      

 

Description of the Project

After winning the contract to oversee the construction of what was to be called Sidney Harbour Bridge,  Dorman, Long and company were to have two hinges made from steel, and an arc bridge. There were five spans of approach on the opposite sides of the bridge. The total length of the steel that was needed was 1149 meters. The total costs were approximated by the parliament to be 250 million pounds. The core span of the Sidney Harbour Bridge was to have two steel arches, 30 meters apart. Every arc was supposed to have a truss made using steel. The trusses were to be made from steel taking the shape of a triangle. The reason for choosing this design of triangles was because of the strength it offers to the bridge. Moreover, the trusses that have been designed in the shape of triangles will be hard to be pushed outside in the case of compression forces from the continuous usage of the moving objects. The road was to be formed in between the two sides of the bridge. The way of the road was to hung on the arches, with an abutment fixed at the end of each of the arches. The function of the abutment was to protect the arches from being pushed outside. The top of the structure was to have connections from the base. Each of the abutment was to be fixed with a tower. A tower was to be established to cover the entire pathway. The decorations, including the roof, were supposed to be light in order to protect the entire structure from overweight and hence falling down. There were five pairs of the smaller trusses that were to be fixed at the end of the bridge supported by piers made of concrete. These piers were to hold the building and protect it from further destruction in the case of heavy weight above it. Piers were also to be used to attach the bridge on either sides of the bank of the water (Farrer, 2012).

The process of construction began with the excavation of the site done in January 1925. The work of constructing the Sidney Harbour Bridge began officially with the laying of the first stone on 7 October 1925. The main aim of the stone surround was t create some aesthetic value to the Sidney Harbour Bridge. A total of 40,000 stones were quarried, cut into sizeable pieces and transported to the site where they were to be made for use in the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge. The work of quarrying the stones was at Moruya (Nicholson, 2000). The completion of the other materials for used started in September 1926 when the piers were declared to be ready, with also the readiness of the spans. The construction was to be done from both sides of the northern and the southern spans. The construction work took place at the same time, although the constructions at the northern end were always coming 2 to 3 months later than that at the southern side. The intention of doing this construction, one side ahead of the other was to cut on any possible mistakes, and also give time for correction of the mistakes made in the first construction. This was perceived to increase the prospect of having a strong structure that would last for a long time (Nicholson, 2000).

The completion of the approach spans was done in September 1928. After the completion of the construction of the approach spans, what followed was the construction of the stone-faced abutments. The footings were established by digging great holes that were 27 meters wide, 12 meters from the front to the wider end, and 9 meters into the bottom. The holes were then filled with concrete using hexagonal shapes. The intention of this approach was o have a wider base that will balance the bridge by offering a wider distribution of the weight or the force evenly across the sandstone that was below it. The intention here was to protect the Sidney Harbour Bridge from sinking in the case that the weight form above was greater than it could bear. The idea that was used in this case was that the wider the base, the lesser the chance of the bridge sinking in the case that a lot of force was applied from above it (Mallard & Australian Centre for Photography, 1976). Care was always taken to every construction detail to avoid any risks occurrences. Part of the contingency plans was to ensure an equitable construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge, a project that will be beneficial for a long time. Furthermore, the measures of reducing the occurrences of risks were in place, like the use of movable parts that would enable the bridge to expand and contract with the changes in the weather conditions. This is a good engineering strategy that serves to protect the whole project and ensure its efficiency in use.

The next step was to construct the hinges. The hinges were to be functional in enabling the bridge to expand and compress or condense up to a measurement of 180mm. the changes in the weather conditions prompt the expansion and shrinkage of the bridge in some way, hence, the work of the hinges were to enable the bridge to expand and shrink without having to break at any point or engage any fracture. The hinges were made of steel, four in number, and fixed at the end of each side of the bridge. The steel saddles were to be fixed at the abutments while the hinges placed inside the saddles. The saddles were to be placed approximately right, failure to which the bridge will be useless or dangerous to be used. There was also the unfurnished arch that was fixed to extend through the harbour, and supported by the cables made of steel and a thread that was fixed along the anchorage of the huge tunnels. The tunnels were to be 40 meters long, and were established from the sandstone bedrock. The sandstone is the material that s thought to be carrying the entire city of Sidney. This is the underlying bed rock that holds the firmness of the ground. It was important to have the connections between the bridge and the sandstone in order to offer the best protection for the bridge and its users.

The building of the steel arches was started in October 1928. These steel metals were heavy and cumbersome to deal with. As such, creeper cranes were used to fix them. There were a total of five cranes that installed the steel arches (Mallard & Australian Centre for Photography, 1976). The cranes were of different sizes depending on the size and the heaviness of the steel arches that were to be fixed (Farrer, 2012). On 26 of November, a total of 589 tons of steel had been installed. This was a new world record under which a mass of steel had been installed within that short time. In total, there is a total of 6 million rivets that hold the Sidney Harbour Bridge. The reason why rivets were used was because of the need to avoid the use of the welding procedures and applications that were deemed unreliable. Screws together with bolts and nuts were deemed expensive for the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge since very many of them were to be needed to compete the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge. The rivets used were originally made from Australia. They were made and distributed by the McPherson of Melbourne (Farrer, 2012). 

There were a number of challenges that faced the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge. For instance, 16 people lost their lives during the construction process. Nonetheless, this was the smallest number compared to the 121 that has been lost during the construction of the Snowy Mountains schemes. The northern half of the Sidney Harbour Bridge was completed by the 4th of august 1930. This northern half had been the last the in speed of construction but it caught up and overtook the speed of the construction of the southern half (Mallard & Australian Centre for Photography, 1976). Southern half was completed on the 7th of august 1930, leaving a separation of 1 meter. During the construction process, an engineer called Laurence Ennis did the supervisory activities (Tozer, 2008).  He became the first person to cross the Sidney Harbour Bridge when he was made to lay the connection to the gap and hence cross it. The bridge was completed with the connection of the middle with the tie-backs cables released to let the two halves to tilt into each other slowly. The construction of the arc was completed on September 9, 1930. When the arch was completed, it was now the time to hand the deck over which the road was to be established. The hangers used had lengths ranging from 7.3 meters for the shorter ones and 58.8 meters for the longer ones. The cables were established in order to offer support to the road by hanging off the arches. This section of work took an approximate of 9 months only. The completion of almost every activity was done in 1931. The culmination of the project took place towards the end of 1931 and was made available for use by the government on 15th march 1932. It was opened officially on 9th march 1932. The first usage of the bridge was by the school children who were made to walk on the bridge while it was raining. It was followed by another mass movement of the school-going children, followed by parties and other forms of celebrations (Tozer, 2008).

There was much with the celebration of the construction and the completion of the Sidney Harbour Bridge. Much of the Australian traditions and culture was demonstrated by the completion of the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge. F. E. de Groot, who cut the ribbon, riding on a horse, and declaring it "open in the name of the decent and loyal citizens of New South Wales", officially, did the opening (Tozer, 2008). This was a manifestation of the joy and pleasure of meeting such an immense innovation and construction in the country. It was like everyone in the country was waiting for the completion of the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge (Nicholson, 2000). There were a lot of significances since held on the Sidney Harbour Bridge project since it was happening in two cities that were going to be connected. The prospect is having to see this masterpiece of engineering was not something to forge to in the minds of many in the country. What s clear is that the country was on the verge of making history using its available resources and personnel. It was something to be cheerful for and appreciate at all times (Tozer, 2008). 

Design Category

Different categories were involved in the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge project. Nonetheless, an integration of the many designs involved a mechanization of the project to capitalize on its strength and safety. The design involved the use of steel arcs, stones, concrete, and other materials that were integrated to get a strong whole.

Benefits of the Implementation of the Sidney Harbour Bridge project

Several benefits came with the implementation of the project to construct the Sidney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia (Tozer, 2008). The first and obvious reason and the advantage were the establishments of an effective and efficient transport system that could connect the two cities in Sydney and Wales. Transport had been a difficult issue for the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge. Nonetheless, the implementation of the project enabled an easy transportation that connected the two cities with so much activity in them. The other benefit was the demonstration of a culture and innovative capabilities that came to the entire city and the country of Australia. The completion of the construction of such an iconic structure has given the country a lot of praise and history in the making (Lalor & Lalor, 2006). This is a benefit that has been trending for so many years when the country is known because of the activities it does in the world.

Being the tallest structure of this kind in the world was such a massive boost to the growth of potential and innovation in the country. Even when it no longer became the tallest structure, it is still the largest structure of its kind in the entire world today. This massive reputation dates back to the early days of innovation in the 1930s. Furthermore, the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge has been instrumental in the progression of innovation and development in Australia and the whole world. Australia has stood as a respected nation and a harbor of innovation. Many engineers and innovations look to this structure and hence drive their new structures and innovations today. Moreover, the establishment of the Sidney Harbour Bridge has opened gates for many avenues of designing structures that suit usage for a long time. The Sidney Harbour Bridge is still a strong structure and is deemed to be productive for the next number of centuries (Lalor & Lalor, 2006).

The advancement of innovation and technology got manifested in the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge in Australia. It was a high time for the country to realize its deepest inventions and applications derived from engineering to solve the most of the problems facing the citizens of the country; it was important for the learning institutions to see something finally coming out of the learning and training processes that had been implanted in people. The completion of the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge is a history and success to the innovation in the country. The other aspect touched on the practicality of having to use the locally made materials and complete the construction of such a massive structure in the country. It was a history and a message to the rest of the world that innovation was practical and real in the country, and was being used to benefit the common people in the country. The government and the parliament that has passed a bill for the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge was eager to see the possibility of seeing a bill once passed out in the form of papers and theory materialize and become an iconic structure demonstrating a masterpiece of engineering and skill from the local people of the country. Therefore, everything was setting its pace towards the celebrations that were to be marked by the construction and the completion of the Sidney Harbour Bridge (Mallard & Australian Centre for Photography, 1976).

Other Information

It is estimated that the height of the top of the Sidney Harbour Bridge rises to 134 meters above the sea level. This is also equated to the height of the top of an aircraft that rises to a level of 141 meters above the sea level (Cash, 1930). The width of the deck is estimated to be 49 meters while the clearance for shipping is also 49 meters. The total height of the pylons that were used was 89 meters above the sea level while the base of each of the bitumen is estimated to be 68 meters across and another 48 meters in its length (Cash, 1930). There are two pylons that rest on each of the bitumen towers. The total length of the Sidney Harbour Bridge is 1149 meters, with an inclusion of the approach spans. The bearing pins have measurements of 4.2 meters each with a diameter of 368 millimeters. The thrust on the bearings of the Sidney Harbour Bridge has a maximum of 20,000 tones bearing load offered by each of the bearings. The number of rivets that were used in the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge is estimated to be 6,000,000, with the largest of the rivets weighing 3.5 kilograms and having a total length of 395 millimeters. The longest of the hangers used is estimated to be 58.8 meters while the shortest is 7.3 meters. The total weight of the steel that was used to co complete the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge is estimated to be 58, 800 tones while the weight of the arc is estimated to be 39,000 tones. The rock excavated from the foundation is estimated at 122,000 cubic meters while the concrete that was used is approximated to be 95,000 cubic meters (Cash, 1930). 

Results and conclusion

The Sidney Harbour Bridge will always go down as one of the major and record-breaking projects to have been passed and implemented during the 1920s and the 1930s. Not so many countries and projects were able to achieve this feat of results and innovation during this time. What is practical and more amazing about this project is the fact that it was started out of an outcry of the local people and the two cities over the challenges of transport and communication between what was the two cities in the country.

The cities were just separated by a mass of water and needed and needed an immediate transport system that could facilitate the movement of people and materials between the two cities (Cash, 1930). First is the level of innovation and technology that was used in the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge. There is much to say and cherish on the level of innovation breakthrough that was realized with the completion of this project. The project feasibility was always not within the realization of such massive structure in the country. in fact, what is evident is that the project took the shortest time possible depending on its nature and the density of the work that was being done. Much of the achievement is realized with the usage of the project results, which is the Sidney Harbour Bridge (Cash, 1930).

The other concept of the construction and the completion of the Sidney Harbour Bridge project lie with the contribution of the people and the government of Australia. Right from the passage of the bill to foresee the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge, every organ was put into service and was expected to offer every necessary support to ensure that the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge was always on a good course (Farrer, 2012).  Much of the reputation was to be given to the people who participated in different ways to see the project come to a conclusion. It is with immense relevance that much of the construction of the Sidney Harbour Bridge was done with the use of the materials and equipment internally manufactured by the local manufacturers.

The source of the innovation and technology that was required came right from the people and hence the personnel was absorbed from the people (Mallard & Australian Centre for Photography, 1976). This major internal project was accomplished in the country during this time (Tozer, 2008). Much of the work contained in the project was the creation of an avenue to bring about a conservative way of dealing with development in Sydney and Australia. Furthermore, the other aspect of the Sidney Harbour Bridge that deserved noting is the way in which the project is continuing even today through the monitoring and evaluation purposes. The monitoring and evaluation processes are done to ensure that the project is still functional and does not go against the prospects that warranted its construction (Mallard & Australian Centre for Photography, 1976). Maintenance is always done to ensure that the Sidney Harbour Bridge is always in a good state, and does not pose any risk occurrences considering the longevity with which it has been in service.

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