How to make a harbour bridge out of lollipop sticks

Image by Dave Manwell; Flickr.

The most famous harbour bridge in the world is in Australia. The Sydney Harbour Bridge was completed in 1932 and is the widest long-span bridge in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

The bridge is 134 metres (440 feet tall) at its highest point, and was the tallest structure in Australia until 1967. You can attempt to replicate its design at home by building a lollipop stick harbour bridge.

Decide how large you want the bridge to be. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is 134 metres (440 feet) tall, 503 metres (1,650 feet) long and 45 metres (151 feet) wide. Use a photo of the bridge as a guide. Keep the ratios in mind while drawing the design on paper. Make sure the design is a side view of the bridge.

Lay the design out on a hard flat surface. You will construct the bridge on top of the design and you should choose a work space that no one will disturb while the glue dries.

Lay the lollipop sticks out on the design to see how many pieces you will need. Cut sticks into smaller pieces with a knife where needed. For a large bridge, use two sticks glued together for strength. Attach the ends of those pairs to other glued pairs to create the longer pieces in the structure. Clamp each glued end with a peg until dry.

Tape the largest pieces to the design. Glue the smaller pieces on top of the larger pieces according to the layout in your design.

Lay heavy books on top of all the glued pieces to weigh them down. Allow the glue to set overnight.

Repeat this process to make the other side of the bridge.

Arrange two piles of books that are the approximate height of your bridge sides, spaced apart the exact width you want for the bridge. Use a ruler if necessary.

Tape your completed bridge sides to the inside of the book piles. Make sure the sides are perfectly straight and not leaning.

Attach lollipop sticks across the tops of both sides at 45-degree angles. Create a triangular pattern attached to both sides. This creates the bracing that will hold the sides together. Depending on the size of your model, you may need to cut sticks to meet the desired length. Allow the glue to dry completely.

Remove the tape from the sides of the bridge and clear away the books. Carefully turn your bridge upside down. Glue lollipop sticks straight across the bottom of the bridge to create additional bracing. You don't need to use as many sticks as you did for the bracing across the top. Allow the glue to dry completely.