Bridge Climb

The first really cool thing we did here was climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The whole group actually did, which is a really fun experience we got to share. We first entered the building and were suited up in jump suits. We were given a harness, as well, that contained things we needed while climbing. We were given flashlights, jackets, reflectors and hooks to hook onto the bridge for extra safety. We then had to practice hooking on and walking to ensure that we knew what we were doing before we actually made the climb. We also decided to climb it at night, which not only was cheaper, but also gave us views of all of the lights. We were able to watch the Vivid Light Show, which is a famous light show that happens at Circular Quay in June every year. While climbing, we had a guide that was telling us some history behind the bridge and the city through headsets. When we finally reached the top of the bridge we took a group photo. We were then able to go and hear our heartbeat projected over speakers. I do not really know what this has to do with climbing the bridge, but it was pretty cool. Then we made our descend down. It did not feel like it but we actually climbed for about three hours. The coolest part, I think, was being able to view the city from such a high altitude. Additionally, at almost any time you can look up to bridge and see people climbing it. So it is kind of cool to be able to say I did that, too.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the most known landmarks of not only New South Wales, but all of Australia. Plans for the bridge began in 1815. After a century of debating the best way to proceed in building the bridge, J.J.C. Bradfield was appointed the Chief Engineer and is still known as the father of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Bridge began being built in 1923 and was officially opened on March 19th 1932. It cost Australia about 6.25 Million AUD. Although it was a lot of financial investment to create the bridge, the economic benefits far outweighed the costs. The bridge opened up a whole new area of expansion for the nation moving forward.
The most obvious result was the it opened up the city to the northern side of the harbour and allowed the city to expand north. However, this came at a cost. In order for this to happen, part of the Rocks had to be demolished. On a more positive note, the bridge did increase safety of the population because now instead of seventy five ferries per hour between the north and south sides of the harbour, the bridge replaced most of this traffic for commuters.
The impact the bridge had on the morale of the city was infinite. The Harbour Bridge was built during Australia’s Great Depression. New South Wales’ economy was plummeting. The Bridge was symbolic for the country because it showed that the country should be recognized and could hold its own with other big cities around the world. Australia, too, had the capability to create a bridge that was so grand it could be recognized by the rest of world. Its placement was on purpose. It was meant to be dramatic to prove their point.
The Bridge Climb began in 1998. It attracts both tourists and locals to ascend to the top of it. There are day, evening and night climbs and a new climb happens every ten minutes. The safety precautions taken include a blood alcohol reading and a Climb Simulator, which shows Climbers the climbing conditions that might be experienced on the Bridge, which I mentioned before. The oldest person to climb the bridge was 100 years old. Therefore, the climb is not necessarily strenuous, but definitely worth it. We were able to have one of the coolest bird’s eye view of the city that most people never see.
Some fun facts about the Bridge Climb:
1. 2.75 Million people have climbed the bridge since it opened in 1998
2. The youngest you can start climbing is age 10
3. Four thousand couples have gotten engaged at the top of the bridge
4. It is open twenty four hours a day, 363 days a year
5. You will climb 1,332 stairs during your ascend up to the top
6. The person to climb the bridge the most times is eighty four years old. He has climbed to the top forty one times

Sources: http://www.ytravelblog.com/sydney-harbour-bridge-climb/ & http://sydney-harbour-bridge.bos.nsw.edu.au/engineering-studies/impact.php

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