Why is the Sydney Harbour bridge significant?

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is significant for being the largest steel arch bridge in the world, though not the longest, with the top of the bridge standing 134 metres above the harbour. At 48.8 m wide, it is the widest bridge in the world (as of 2004). Construction of the bridge began in 1924, and took 1400 men eight years to build at a cost of £4.2 million. Sixteen lives were lost during its construction, while up to 800 families living in the path of the proposed Bridge path were relocated and their homes demolished when construction started.

It is also significant for how it was constructed. The arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge was built in two halves cantilevering from each shore and tying each half back by steel cables that were anchored into U-shaped tunnels excavated into the sandstone rock. Construction of the two halves of the arch began late in 1928, and the two halves were properly joined around 10pm on 19 August 1930.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge provided a vital link for the city of Sydney across the harbour. Before it was built, the only way to travel between the southern side of the harbour, where the city centre is, and the residential north, was by ferry, or by taking a circuitous, 20 kilometre road route involving five bridge crossings. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is also significant because it is where the 28 May 2000 People's Walk for Reconciliation took place. The walk began at North Sydney station and finished at Darling Harbour, and involved some 250,000 people walking across Sydney's Harbour Bridge to show their support of the process of Reconciliation between Aboriginal Australians and white Australians.