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. . . down under


Having climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, I was fascinated by the article on the 'row' about whether Ralph Freeman actually designed the bridge.

Officially, Sydney city authorities say the bridge was designed by JJ Bradfi eld and construction was by contractor Dorman Long, with Sir Ralph Freeman as consulting engineer and Sir John Burnett & Partners as consulting architects.

The story is that Bradfield suggested the compression-arch bridge concept, with granitefaced pylons, which was then constructed by Dorman Long with structural calculations by Sir Ralph Freeman, who came to the consultancy from the Cleveland Bridge Company.

No coincidence then that Dorman Long also built the Tyne Bridge, which was ofcially opened in 1928, four years ahead of the Sydney Harbour Bridge - a ne example of recycling of design by Mott, Hay & Anderson!

Incidentally, the bridge tour guides reveal to climbers the length of Dorman Long's guarantee on the Sydney structure - just six months. . .

Lis Stedman, lis.stedman@w20. net

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