Pyrmont Bridge is an iconic landmark in Sydney and a symbolic structure as far as the country’s industrial history is concerned, being the oldest surviving swingspan bridges – operated electrically today.
The first bridge at the present location became operational in 1857 before the present bridge was opened for use in 1902.
Pyrmont Bridge, Hotel & Accommodation Darling Harbour, Sydney NSW
The purpose of this swingspan bridge was to allow vessels easy access to Darling Harbour. This design was meant to cater for vessels that were more than seven metres high. Interestingly, vessels that are up to 21.5 metres wide can also access the harbour once the bridge is opened.
The bridge spans 369 metres, and is made up of 14 spans. With a weight of 1000 tonnes, the swingspan bridge required a solid support to ensure it had lasted. For this reason, its base was designed from local sandstone and concrete.
Initially, the bridge carried motor vehicle traffic up to 1981. Presently, the bridge is open to pedestrian and bicycle traffic only. Today, more than 5 million pedestrians cross the bridge annually and has since been recognized as a National Engineering Landmark.
To watch Pyrmont Bridge during swing operations, make your way to the bridge on weekends and public holidays when demonstrations are held. The swinging operations are overseen from a tower located at the control cabin in the middle of the bridge. Note that the openings of the bridge are subject to weather conditions and shipping timelines.
The bridge’s strategic location means it lies in close proximity to key attractions within Darling Harbour. Pyrmont Bridge is located just three kilometres from the CBD, and can be enjoyed by taking a walk from Darling Harbour.