Skip to content

PYRMONT BRIDGE – DARLING HARBOR SYDNEY AUSTRALIA

December 5, 2011

I RECENTLY CROSSED THE PYRMONT BRIDGE IN DARLING HARBOR, SYDNEY AUSTRALIA, AND WHEN YOU SEE A BRIDGE LIKE THIS YOU WONDER ABOUT IT’S PAST.

HERE ARE SOME DETAILS OF THIS BRIDGE.

Pyrmont Bridge in Darling Harbour is one of the world’s oldest surviving electrically operated swingspan bridges. The current swingspan bridge opened in 1902 and replaced the first Pyrmont Bridge which began operating in 1857. The swingspan allows access for vessels that are too tall to travel under the bridge. In 1902, Darling Harbour was Sydney’s industrial heart and served as the gateway to a bustling hub of warehouses, railway yards and international shipping.

The bridge provided the main transport route between the city and Sydney’s growing western suburbs. Pyrmont Bridge was designed by engineer Percy Allan who was renowned for his ‘common sense’ approach to engineering. Each of the 583 bridges Allan designed during his career was characterised by its economical use of materials, easy construction and maintenance. Pyrmont Bridge consists of a steel truss swingspan with timber truss approach spans. Timber was used because of the high cost of iron and steel and government insistence on using local ironbark to reduce costs. Using electricity to operate the swingspan was considered advanced at the time as almost all swing bridges were operated by winches, steam or hydraulic power. The electrification of Sydney’s trams provided Allan with the power and equipment he required. The Ultimo Power House, now the Powerhouse Museum, was nearby, and tram motors, modified with appropriate gearing, were suitable to drive the swingspan.

During the 1900s, the growth of international trade saw the introduction of large container ships and the southern end of Darling Harbour became less commercially viable as a trading port. The area gradually fell into decline, freight services were moved and the railway goods yards were closed in 1984. When Darling Harbour was redeveloped as a leisure, entertainment and commercial precinct in 1988, Pyrmont Bridge’s swingspan was restored and a new addition, the Monorail, was built above it. Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, which manages Pyrmont Bridge, has undertaken further remediation work in the past 20 years. This has included measures to prevent the swingspan jamming during hot weather and maintenance of the sand filled concrete encasements which protect the timber pile from marine borers. Having undergone major restoration, centenary celebrations in 2002 and more than 600,000 openings in its lifetime, the bridge is a key piece of engineering heritage for everyone to enjoy. An Institution of Engineers Australia, commemorative plaque is at the Bridge’s west end and an inscription in the stonework at the eastern end recognises Percy Allan.

SIGNIFICANT DATES

1857 First Pyrmont Bridge opens on 17 March.

1899 Construction starts on new bridge on 6 September.

1902 New electric swingspan Pyrmont Bridge opens on 28 June.

1907 Pyrmont Bridge is acclaimed as a marvel of modern engineering at the international conference of the Institution of Civil Engineers (London).

1981 Pyrmont Bridge closes to all pedestrian and vehicular traffic on 7 August.

1984 Southern Darling Harbour (Cockle Bay) shipping and railway terminals close. Plans are launched to redevelop Darling Harbour into a major leisure, entertainment and commercial destination.

1988 Darling Harbour redevelopment is completed and the precinct opens to the public. Pyrmont Bridge reopens to pedestrians, connecting the city with Pyrmont and Ultimo, and the Monorail is built.

2002 Pyrmont Bridge celebrates its 100th anniversary.

2007 Remaining shipping wharves at Darling Harbour are closed.

Today More than 5 million pedestrians cross the bridge each year.

TODAY THIS IS WHAT THE BRIDGE LOOK LIKE:

THE BRIDGE AS SEEN FROM THE CITY  SIDE

PYRMONT BRIDGE AS SEEN FROM THE CITY SIDE

                                                                                             PYRMONT BRIDGE TODAY

SYDNEY MONORAIL CROSSES OVER THE PYRMONT BRIDGE

MONORAIL DARLING HARBOR STATION ON THE PYRMONT BRIDGE

360 DEGREE PANARAMIC VIEW OF THE PYRMONT BRIDGE

PYRMONT BRIDGE HOTEL ON PYRMONT BRIDGE ROAD AT THE ENTRANCE TO PYRMONT BRIDGE

AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM NEXT TO PYRMONT BRIDGE

A HAPPY WEDDING COUPLE AT COCKLE BAY ON THE CITY SIDE OF  PYRMONT BRIDGE

A HAPPY WEDDING COUPLE COCKLE BAY CITY SIDE OF PYRMONT BRIDGE

PHOTOS BY:

LEONARD EPSTEIN

VIDEOS:

Sydney, Pyrmont Bridge, Darling Harbour, malovani na chodnik

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: