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Down Under and Over the Top

May 12, 1996

Beginning next year, tourists wearing protective suits and safety harnesses will be able to climb an Australian landmark, the steel bridge that spans Sydney Harbor, 482 feet above the water.

The famous bridge (pictured right) was built in 1932. Although visitors are allowed to climb its stone pylons, walking the bridge's 1,640-foot span has been the privilege of workers, celebrities and daredevils who risked fines of about $775 for trespassing. However, that will change in 1997 when the Over the Top Tourism Organization begins its tours.

The company will offer one- to five-hour tours of the upper and lower arches to groups of no more than 10. Walkers will be connected by harnesses to the handrail and guides will walk at the front and rear of the group.

The bridge, which has a bike path on the west side and a pedestrian walkway on the east, was the city's symbol until the Opera House came along.

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