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Building the Bridge

Why Sydney Harbour needed a bridge: a missing link

Modern-day Australians are so used to the Sydney Harbour Bridge that it is almost impossible to imagine a time when there wasn’t a bridge across the harbour. More…

JJC Bradfield and JT Lang: the movers and shakers

The names of two men stand out in the story of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. They are John Job Crew Bradfield and John (Jack) Thomas Lang. Bradfield was a civil engineer and a major ‘mover’ in the history of the Bridge. Jack Lang was Premier of NSW for two terms: the first between 1925 and 1927 and the second from 1930 to 1932. Lang was a ‘shaker’ – a big, colourful, outspoken firebrand of a man who made things happen. More…

The bridge-builders

During the eight years of its construction from 1924 to 1932, an estimated total of between 2500–4000 workers were employed in various aspects of its building. They included engineers, surveyors and architects, blacksmiths, boilermakers, carpenters and concreters, stonemasons, riggers, crane drivers, painters and day labourers. More…

The 1920s – working lives

The building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge began in 1924. This was a time of rapid growth and change in Australian society. People wanted to put the dark, difficult days of World War I behind them and they looked with confidence to a brighter, prosperous future. The Sydney Harbour Bridge was a symbol of the upbeat mood of national confidence and energy. More…

Five million rivets: The timeline

The first work on the Bridge was the construction of the Bridge approaches and the approach spans. By September 1926 concrete piers had been built to support the approach spans on each side of the harbour. More…

Bradfield – A vision for Sydney transport

There has been much public discussion about Sydney's transport problems in recent times and included in the debate there has been frequent mention of a 'Bradfield Scheme' together with comment that the concepts of John Job Crew Bradfield, if followed through, would have greatly alleviated the current situation. More…

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